Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org
Friday, June 1, 2012
Read | Proverbs 16:1-3
Is success a legitimate goal for believers? Is this something God wants for His children? The answers depend upon your definition of success. Many people define it as the achievement of wealth, prominence, or fame. If that’s what you’re seeking, then you are following the world’s definition, not the Lord’s.
In His eyes, true success begins internally–the first step is a relationship with Jesus, whereby you have trusted Him as Savior and are following Him obediently. His goal for you is ongoing growth in Christ-like character and spiritual maturity, but that’s not all. He also has some work for you to accomplish here on earth (Eph. 2:10). God planned these tasks specifically for you and designed them with your personality, talents, abilities, and spiritual gifts in mind. You could think of them as your unique calling and responsibility in life, which no one else can fulfill.
Genuine success involves doing what the Lord has called you to do, not just occasionally but continually. It has to do with persistence rather than perfection. When this is your definition of success, you can know that the Lord wants you to succeed–and is committed to helping you become the person He designed you to be and accomplish the goals He’s set for you.
The ultimate evaluation of our success will take place when we stand before God and give account of our lives (Rom. 14:12). Any self-centered earthly achievements will be left behind. But if we’ve lived by His definition of success, our treasure will await us in heaven–along with the words “Well done!”
Proverbs 16 (NASB)
Contrast the Upright and the Wicked
16 The plans of the heart belong to man,
But the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
2 All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight,
But the Lord weighs the motives.
3 Commit your works to the Lord
And your plans will be established.
4 The Lord has made everything for its own purpose,
Even the wicked for the day of evil.
5 Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord;
Assuredly, he will not be unpunished.
6 By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for,
And by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil.
7 When a man’s ways are pleasing to the Lord,
He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
8 Better is a little with righteousness
Than great income with injustice.
9 The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.
10 A divine decision is in the lips of the king;
His mouth should not err in judgment.
11 A just balance and scales belong to the Lord;
All the weights of the bag are His concern.
12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts,
For a throne is established on righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
And he who speaks right is loved.
14 The fury of a king is like messengers of death,
But a wise man will appease it.
15 In the light of a king’s face is life,
And his favor is like a cloud with the spring rain.
16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.
17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who watches his way preserves his life.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
19 It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20 He who gives attention to the word will find good,
And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.
21 The wise in heart will be called understanding,
And sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
22 Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it,
But the discipline of fools is folly.
23 The heart of the wise instructs his mouth
And adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
25 There is a way which seems right to a man,
But its end is the way of death.
26 A worker’s appetite works for him,
For his hunger urges him on.
27 A worthless man digs up evil,
While his words are like scorching fire.
28 A perverse man spreads strife,
And a slanderer separates intimate friends.
29 A man of violence entices his neighbor
And leads him in a way that is not good.
30 He who winks his eyes does so to devise perverse things;
He who compresses his lips brings evil to pass.
31 A gray head is a crown of glory;
It is found in the way of righteousness.
32 He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.
33 The lot is cast into the lap,
But its every decision is from the Lord.