Wednesday Word: August 23, 2017
The Sacrifice of Success
A million things ran through my mind to write about. I began to notice the sub theme of every topic I was thinking was about goals or dreams. Without hesitation, I just started writing and the title came right out, “The Sacrifice of Success”.
We all define success differently. I believe we can all agree that one product of success is (or at least should be) joy, correct? Then why are so many successful people not full of joy? I think it is because they made the wrong sacrifices to gain their success.
Every point of success requires a level of sacrifice. There is the sacrifice of time, the sacrifice of energy, and the sacrifice of self. Yet far too often we hear stories about successful famous people who had to sacrifice their childhood, families, and even morals to get to the point of success in the form of fame.
I strongly believe it is in our DNA to want to be great and be noticed for our greatness on some level. The question is to what end will we as individuals achieve that greatness? There is but one way, through the leading of Holy Spirit/the design of God the Creator/the Sacrifice and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Before I tell my tale, I admonish each of us to review the greats of the Bible and see what they sacrificed to achieve greatness. Also, see where they fell short (some of them) in their obedience which caused them to not obtain the fullness within their lifetime of God’s purpose. God’s purposes will always be fulfilled but when is up to the vessels He placed His destiny into.
I have always had the talent of writing since I was very young. I remember in the 3rd grade, living in Southern California, we were doing crafts of some kind. I told my classmates I could make up a song using any word they gave me. I was successful at it. So I continued to make up songs. In the 4th grade, same school, I actually got in trouble because I was too good at making up songs (even bad ones with bad words). Me and friends did it all the time and we had fun doing it. Then, out of the blue, I had to leave that comfort zone where my personality was accepted. The place we moved to wasn’t too friendly or comfortable to me so that personality that allowed me to make up songs started to disappear. It wasn’t until my high school senior year that I felt comfortable with sharing my words again. This time it was in the form of poetry and it was somewhat forced by my senior year English teacher. After that, it took another long stretch of time before I began to share my words again. This time it was out of obedience to the Lord because I finally let Him into my heart. The project was through a book which made me closer to Him through the writing and allowed me to be vulnerable. After publishing that book, I began sharing my words in song form with someone close to me. I even sang some of them in front of the church with her help and push.
I consider the above a huge success because it has led me to the place I am now; sharing my gifts and talents with anyone willing to listen. There were many sacrifices along the way. The greatest sacrifice, for me, was removing the negativity away from myself so I could focus on the Lord and His purpose for my life. The closer we get to our true calling, the more we get away from the things of the world. That is a sacrifice because it can cause us to be subject to mockery, cruelty, persecution (in many different ways), doubt, and fear. The key is that we are never alone. Our Lord is ALWAYS with us. He sacrificed the most and fulfilled His destiny. The sacrifice of success is obedience to the One Who gave it all for us. Whatever He has called you to do, do it with the intent of absolute obedience in your heart. Then when He says to share it, share it without worrying what people (even believers) may say or think about it. The religious leaders in Jesus’ day accused Him of the highest crime. Yet He was not guilty; He was fulfilling His destiny and He rose from their cruelty (both literally and figuratively). Let us each live our life in pursuit of our highest calling; to love Him and each other above everything else. Our talents and gifts are designed for the enjoyment of our Father God and to prepare the way for our King’s return.
Alicia R. Shipe
[Be sure to have your daily Cup of J.O.E. (Jesus Over Everything) by going to gatheringathisfeet.org.]