Christianity 201

February 28, 2012

Success of Significance?

I’ve always said I would rather be effective than be successful. But I’ve never heard anyone else express this sentiment until I came across Counting My Blessings, the blog of Deb Wolf, where this appeared just a few days ago as Would You Rather Be Successful or Significant?

Successful is defined as – having attained wealth, position, honors, or the like.

Significant is defined as – important or of consequence.

So, would you rather be successful or significant? 

This question came to mind as I read Ecclesiastes 4:4 –

Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

I used to think the Book of Ecclesiastes was majorly depressing. Solomon stating again and again that, “it’s all meaningless – like chasing the wind.”

But then I read the end of the book, Ecclesiastes 12:13 –

 After all this, there is only one thing to say: Have reverence for God, and obey His commands, because this is all that we were created for.

Accomplishing that for which we were created is success. Certainly not the world’s definition of success, not even the dictionary’s definition but I believe the best definition.

What are God’s commands? When Jesus was asked to name the most important commandments He replied:

 “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:27-29

Loving God. Loving others. Success and Significance. 

Not what is normally thought of as success or significance, but for those of who follow Christ the best definition of both.

That’s what I’m thinking about. What do you think?

~Deb Wolf


  1. Before reading I was struck by the picture. IF ONLY we could hit a “success” button! Then I re-thought, because firstly I know a lot of “successful” people who have missed out on the most important things, and secondly, what is the value of success without the sense of achievement after effort?

    I know I AM significant in the eyes of God. He BOUGHT me at tremendous cost and He adopted me into His own family and continues His work in me.
    Now I want to BE significant, used by Him to accomplish His purpose . . . and that will be His success when I am presented faultless before the throne.

    Comment by meetingintheclouds — February 29, 2012 @ 4:38 pm | Reply

    • Yes, a button would be nice. BTW, I always appreciate your comments even though I don’t reply to each one. Thanks for reading.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — February 29, 2012 @ 4:51 pm | Reply

  2. Paul, I need a better track back button. I just came across your link and I post and I must say thank you! I am humbled and blessed that you shared my thoughts. I’m hoping you will visit CMB again. I have launched a new site and praying to be able to share more boldly my love for Christ and for others.

    Comment by Deb Wolf — May 6, 2012 @ 11:15 pm | Reply

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