How Does Heaven Measure Success?

I believe that success is not measured by accolades but rather by character.

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Success is something we all aspire to achieve before we die … don’t we?

We long to be successful in family life … with our finances … with personal discipline … in spiritual growth … in our relationships … in our chosen career.

Why, then, does success seem to be so elusive?

It always seems to me that others are more successful than I could ever dream of being … no matter how hard I work or how valiantly I try.

Their bank accounts are bigger … their weight is lower … their houses are cleaner … their gardens are prettier … their achievements are more impressive.


Success is on the same road as failure … success is just a little further down the road.” – Jack Hyles

What does it mean to be a truly successful person?

More importantly … what does success mean to you?

Would you like to read the definition of “success” according to our infallible friend, Mr. Noah Webster?

Success: the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors;

the accomplishment of one’s goals.

the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.”

H-m-m-m … not sure I agree with Mr. Webster … do you?

I don’t believe that success necessarily has anything to do with wealth, position, or even honor.

I mean … a successful person certainly might achieve wealth, position, or honor … but those three temporary achievements do not guarantee true success.

Not in my book, anyway. Maybe in Mr. Webster’s book … but not in mine.

Allow me to explain …

I don’t believe that all millionaires are successful … neither do I believe that all senators are successful.

I don’t believe that all movie stars are successful … neither do I believe that all Super Bowl winning football players are successful.

Not all doctors are successful … not all Nobel prize winners are successful … not all dignitaries are successful.

At least in my book.

Again … maybe in Mr. Webster’s book … or in the book that defines our culture … but not in mine.

Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” – Francis Chan

Mr. Webster’s definition also states that success is “the termination of attempts or endeavors … the accomplishment of one’s goals.”

H-m-m-m … not sure about that one either.

So if I run for president but never win the office … does that mean I am a failure in life?

If I write a book but it never makes the New York Times Best Sellers’ List … does that mean I am unsuccessful?

If I work diligently my entire life but never make a million dollars … does that deem me as incompetent or a “might-have-been”?

I fear that Mr. Webster …our culture … Hollywood … politics … and the sports world have it all wrong once again.

At least in my book.

Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.” – Zig Ziglar

In my opinion … success is not so much about achievement as it is about ethic.

I believe that success is not measured by accolades but rather by character.

We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.” – Harry Ward Beecher

I have learned … over the decades of my life … the value of faithfulness supersedes that of success.

Faithfully loving my husband … faithfully encouraging my children … faithfully exercising.

Faithfully writing every day … faithfully running a ministry … faithfully staying in touch with my friends.

Faithfully reading the Bible … faithfully choosing joy … faithfully being kind.

I have been pondering this phrase over and over and over again … “I don’t want to be famous … I just want to be faithful.”

I truly don’t want to be a celebrity … I want to be a general that leads an army of faithful warriors for the cause of Christ.

I attribute my success to this … I never gave nor took any excuse.” – Florence Nightingale

So … Mr. Webster … sorry about that. I respectfully but strongly disagree with your definition of “success.”

In my book … which is the Bible … a man or a woman is eternally successful who faithfully and wholeheartedly gave their life to the unshakable kingdom of God.

Showers of earthly blessings certainly may come because of faithful living … but success is not measured by the enormity of bank accounts … the number of trophies in a case … or the magazines whose covers you may grace.

Success is measured by one faithful and righteous choice at a time.

It is not your business to succeed, but to do right: when you have done so, the rest lies with God.” – C. S. Lewis

I have heard it said that the only valid metric of success is faithfulness.

Now there’s a definition with which I can agree.

Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success.” – William Wilberforc


This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Carol McLeod Ministries

Featured Image by Tafilah Yusof from Pixabay 

The views and opinions expressed by Kingdom Winds Collective Members, authors, and contributors are their own and do not represent the views of Kingdom Winds LLC.

About the Author

Carol McLeod is a best-selling author and popular speaker at women’s conferences and retreats, where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. Carol is a prolific author and loves digging for truth in the Word of God. Carol writes a weekly blog, “Joy For the Journey,” that has been named in the Top 50 Faith Blogs for Women. Carol also writes a weekly column for “Ministry Today.” Carol has been married to her college sweetheart, Craig, for 41 years and is the mother of five children in heaven and five children on earth. Graduates of Oral Roberts University, Craig and Carol have spent the past 38 years pastoring churches across America.

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