True Success


“The Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.’” -- Luke 10:41-42


According to society’s standards, a coach’s or athlete’s status is based on the win-loss record. Unfortunately, personal worth is often tied into this same evaluation.

Feeling down after a losing season, I sought out one of my coaching mentors to discuss my disappointment. He asked if I knew his record from the past season. I apologized that I hadn’t followed his season. He informed me of his 11-1 record and a junior college bowl championship.

He then asked if I cared about him, since I hadn’t followed his team’s record. “I certainly do care about you,” I responded. My respect for him was based on who he was as a person, not his football success.

Jesus also provided a unique perspective on success through the story of Mary and Martha. While Martha was busy fulfilling the perceived demands of the moment, Mary sat listening to Jesus. Upset by her sister’s lack of help, Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to lend a hand. Jesus answered by pointing her to what mattered most: a relationship with Him over worldly accomplishments. That’s why He came to Earth: to die a death we should have died so that we could have new life in Him.

The rewards of a winning record can be taken away by one “bad” year. But true success — an intimate relationship with God through Jesus — can never be taken away, because of the cross.

  • How do you define success?
  • Do you find yourself more enamored by a teammate’s achievements or by who they are as a person?

“Lord, renew my intimacy with You that I may fulfill my professional responsibilities with excellence and joy. Amen.”