Success or Significance?

In a meeting with a prospective client recently, I was attempting to describe my success rate with the particular malady with which they were wrestling. When clients first present for treatment they are often discouraged, desperate, and hopeless. One of the first battles is to demonstrate that things can be better and that I know how to move with them toward that goal.

Unfortunately, when I listen to myself describe the efficacy of the treatment process and my particular experience in helping others, it can come across as cocky and arrogant.

I ran across this quote and thought of how it addresses this issue. I found it meaningful and believe it is my new mantra. “I’ve been successful, but it is more important to be significant.”

Success can be a singular accomplish-ment, produced through the untiring efforts of an individual toward a specific goal. For example, 1994: Daniel Bent set the record for fastest ever time in the bog-snorkeling triathlon in 2 hours, 23 minutes, 24 seconds at the World Bog Snorkeling Championships. That might be successful, but it isn’t significant.

Some might question the success of Jesus’ coming into this world, after all, it ended with his crucifixion. While I would argue that he was successful because he gave his life as a ransom for many, and that the resurrection and ascension were the end rather than his crucifixion… no one can argue about his significance. We measure time in years from his birth, we celebrate holidays, observe holy days, and a large portion of the world begin and end their days reading about him.

Success or significant, which would you choose? Many significant people never achieve financial success, nor are they ever known outside of their sphere of influence. Jesus even alluded to it in reminding the disciples that everywhere the Gospel is preached the act of Mary anointing him with oil would be remembered. One act, significant for all time.




About Checking The Mail

I am Carl Feril, a minister and Licensed Clinical Marriage and Family Therapist. I am married to Janet, who is far better than I deserve, and have two wonderful sons. CW is living in Waterloo, KS and is married to Kelly through whom I have 4 step-grandsons and 10 great-grandkids. Orrin lives here in St John and is married to Meagan, and they have Jayce and Mara. God has blessed me beyond measure and I hope to share all those blessings with others.
This entry was posted in Discipleship, Lessons I'm Learning, Story of God. Bookmark the permalink.

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