Most people associate the name “Thomas Edison” with his most famous invention — the light bulb. But did you know he purportedly tried 1,000 times before creating a successful prototype? It’s safe to say Edison understood failure.
Our society is failure-averse and success-hungry. We want the biggest, best and most — or at least to appear like we have it. Some people would even settle for a life of mediocrity rather than risk failure. But what about people of faith?
If the ultimate measure of success is hearing “well done, good and faithful servant,” what should we consider failure?
1. Not leaving behind a Godly legacy. When people tell the “success story” of your life, will they say you pointed others to Christ, loved well, and valued what mattered most? Do those close to you know what you believe? A successful legacy of faith extends for generations. “His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything he has done.” (Psalm 22:31)
2. Not providing for those you love. Taking care of children and grandchildren goes far beyond eighteen years of food, shelter and unconditional love — it means discussing and taking care of matters that affect them well into adulthood. For instance, you can provide stability and peace by getting your affairs in order so they won’t have to later.
3. Not impacting lives. When we realize God is the rightful owner of everything we’ve been given, it changes how we invest and spend. Are you wisely using your energies and finances to advance eternal work? Have you considered ways you can impact lives for generations to come? What about a gift in your Will or Estate Plan to a ministry you love?
In his book Outlive Your Life, Max Lucado summarizes “success” we should aspire to. “Here’s a salute to a long good life: goodness that outlives the grave. Love that outlasts the final breath. May you live your life in such a way that your death is just the beginning of your life.”