By Pastor Paula White
I believe a life of success is built on those things that are of great value in the eyes of God. A life of success will exhibit signs of inner spiritual maturity - not outward signs of material acquisition.
The Bible repeatedly describes the behavior, beliefs, and actions that will lead to a successful life. Some of the most notable marks of spiritual maturity and a level of true success in life include:
An Ability to Love. Love is giving. Love flows from having received love and value from the Lord. Spiritually mature people are givers. They are motivated to help others succeed, even more than they want to benefit themselves.
A Joyful Outlook on Life. True joy is not rooted in the material trappings money can buy. Spiritually mature and successful people realize that, often, the "things" we think will make us happy don't. True joy is rooted in an awareness of the greatness of God and the many blessings He showers on us on a daily basis. Joy flows from the inside out, and is not based on external things, people, or situations.
A Peaceful Spirit. Striving for "outward success" can keep us restless, always on the hunt for something to satiate our anxiety, fears, or unsatisfied yearnings of the heart. Genuine peace is a feeling of wholeness and calm that stems from knowing one is in right relationship with God. Spiritual mature people have a genuine peace that stays with them even when the world outside is falling apart.
Patience. Spiritually mature people realize that true success in anything is very rarely gained overnight. Success comes from being able to persevere, and when necessary, wait for the desired result. Spiritually mature people have learned that long-lasting fixes and cures take time, slow-cooked meals are generally far better than fast food. Rewarding relationships require patience and take time to build. Often, success is sweeter and more sustainable when it comes slowly!
Attitude of Kindness and a Humble Stance. True success carries an attitude of humility, courtesy, and respect for others. A spiritually mature person allows others to express their opinions and make their own choices -- while still being strong enough to express and make best decisions for their own good. Before God, the successful person meekly carries the attitude, "Not my will, but Your will, be done."
Faith in God. The spiritually mature person leads a life of success by putting their trust solely in God. They realize that to trust oneself is folly, and to trust others without question is naïve. They recognize the sovereignty, wisdom, and divine direction of God, and apply His Holy Word to their life on a daily basis.
Self Control. The successful, spiritually mature person has developed willpower and restraint, seeking what is best for all involved, in the ways and times that are most beneficial and appropriate.
When we seek to develop these godly characteristics, we are well on our way to creating a life of success - God's way!
For more information about Paula, log onto www.paulawhite.org.