What is success?

You drive through neighborhoods and see the huge mansions and think – what in the world do those people DO? You may even think you’ll never have a house like that. I know that’s what I do! Fortunately, I don’t mind.

Success is measured by your house, car, clothes, even the food you eat; in our society anyway. You go to a job that you either love or hate wishing to have more money. Money is what real success is right? Money can buy you those big mansions, fancy cars, all natural organic, gluten-free, antibiotic free, vegan (haha) chicken right?

You think you’re on the right track – you finally have a decent house, a pretty nice car, actually buying new clothes for you kids. Things are going your way! Until you realize your bills are ruling your life. Your mortgage, car payments, credit cards begin to choke you. Let’s hope you didn’t go to school to try to better yourself because THOSE loans are relentless. You start to depend on credit cards to buy food, put gas in your car, go eat with friends – you don’t want anyone to think you’re not “good”.

You get caught in this vicious cycle. You know you need some help but you’re managing things for a while. You make too much money to any kind of help anyway even though you could use it. Then it happens. Your credit cards are maxed out and declined because your payment is late.

Photo courtesy forbes.com

  It’s ok, you’ve been doing this for a few years, you can just play catch up. Until they start calling wanting to know when you’re going to get caught up. Each collector wants a promise of X amount of dollars every paycheck.

Just get another job, of course! Until you realize you have kids to put in day care and after school programs. Until you realize the insurance you have for your kids will fly through the roof hundreds of dollars if you make more money. Until you realize you need ANOTHER full time job and part-time job just to break even.

Now what? You don’t know what to do. You need to make a change but there’s absolutely nothing you can do about your bills. You can’t cut back on anything or cut anything out, you can’t stop getting your morning coffee because you never got it in the first place. You can’t cut back on your grocery budget because it’s already bone dry. You can’t cut back on driving because you only travel the bare minimum anyway.

You pray, you cry out, pleading to God to forgive you of your “successful” lifestyle. You ask for forgiveness for not being a good steward with the things God blessed you with. You realize you’ve been in sin. You haven’t been glorifying God in every aspect of your life. Your finances, your debt – those aren’t worshiping Him.

The bible talks about money – A LOT.

Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
Hebrews 13:5

Keeping up with people you think you should = love of money. Thinking you’re at a certain point in your life, it’s time to aim higher and for more – bigger house, nicer car = love of money.

What happens? You end up never satisfied. You end up meeting different people who have more than you, have nicer things, have hired help! You are no longer good enough, no longer keeping up. Not satisfied regardless of how hard you may have worked to get where you are – keep grinding, you haven’t made it yet.

Enough is enough. It’s time to eat some humble pie here. It’s time to swallow your pride and accept that your “good enough” IS good enough. It’s time to realize that it’s OK to be happy with just having a roof over your head, food in your kitchen, clothes on your back. It’s time to realize you’re in a pickle. You need help. You need a do over.

Guess what? It’s ok. Jesus came to forgive. You fell in love with the ideas that money could buy. That means you began serving and striving for more money. That means you stopped serving God, stopped loving Him.

No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.
Matthew 6:24

  You probably didn’t even realize the vortex you’d fallen into. It’s ok – Jesus came to forgive. We all fail each and every day, in different ways.

  How’s your heart? Is it ready to change? Is it ready to start over, to start loving God and serving Him? Is it ready to be content and be rich in God’s love?

  Once you’ve got your heart checked – go to the cross. Lay it at His feet, ask for forgiveness. I promise it will be given immediately.

Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

  After you’ve surrendered, let go.

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:12

  That’s it. Do what’s necessary to start over beginning with God. He forgives you, now forgive yourself – give yourself some grace, swallow your pride and start over.

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