How Do You Define Success?


“Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go.” — Joshua 1:7


In the arena of sports where score is kept and there are always winners and losers, how do you know whether or not you are successful? While much of the world defines athletic success in terms of wins and losses, legendary coach John Wooden writes in his book, Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success that “success is peace of mind that is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.Within this framework, each person becomes the only one who can ultimately judge his or her own success.”

Spiritually speaking, I believe success is faithfully striving to be fully obedient to God and His Word in all areas of our lives. Based on this, there are three things required for success: (1) we must have a relationship with God, which only comes through faith in Jesus Christ; (2) we must know His Word, which means we have to actually read the Bible; (3) we must strive to live in obedience to God, which means taking His Word and applying it to our lives.

We know, and God knows, that we are going to make mistakes, but if we are making a sincere effort to follow God and be all that He calls us to be, then we are successful.


1. How do you define success?
2. Based on Coach Wooden’s definition, do you consider yourself successful? Why or why not?
3. What needs to happen in order for you to have a more “successful” relationship with God?


Extra Reading: Deuteronomy 5:32–33; 1 Samuel 15:22–23; 2 Chronicles 26:3–5


Father, thank You that success in Your eyes is based on a relationship, not an achievement. I pray that I will live my life according to Your definition of success instead of my own. Amen.