I clearly remember when I was studying business administration in high school, way back in the stone age. One of the first things that my teachers drove home was that you must dress for success. If you look the part, then you will have a chance at getting the part. Back then, I learned that I should always wear a suit to interviews and meetings. Be sure that my hair and nails were tidy, and follow the rules. Resume was to be on off-white paper in order to stand out. Hair should be no longer than the shoulders if over 30 and short over age 40. Heels and pantyhose were a necessity. A woman should never go out with bare legs.
Times most certainly have changed in the last 30 years. Thank the Lord someone decided to do away with the evil pantyhose! Mercy those things were hot and binding! Oh, and it never failed that you would get a run when headed somewhere important. A lot has changed over the years, and yet so much as stayed the same. While computers have replaced typewriters, and shorthand has died, the idea of dressing for success remains alive and well. Our society judges us by the car we drive, the brand of shoes or handbag we carry, and by the style of clothes we wear. It’s easy to get caught up in a world of trying to fit in. God however does not expect us to fit in. He desires we stand out.
Success in the Lord’s book has nothing to do with looking a part. Rather, God’s view of success has everything to do with the condition of our heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 says it plainly. “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” The heart truly speaks volumes to our Lord.
God doesn’t care about what kind of car your drive. He cares whether or not you are following His direction. He doesn’t care about the brand of handbag you carry. He cares about whether you use the gifts and talents He has given you for His glory. The heart tells such a different story from our outward appearance. A person can look composed, well dressed, confident, and all together while being a wreck on the inside. Heartaches, confusion, loss, pain…all of these things can be hidden from the public. Not from God! He knows our hearts better than we do.
So what does the condition of your heart say about you dear Sister? Are you trying to maintain an appearance of success? Or are you walking in the commands the Lord has given? Do you love the Lord with all of your heart? Or, are you just looking to make it big in society? You see, success has nothing to do with your job title or your checkbook. Not in God’s mind. For Him success has everything to do with your commitment to living out the purpose He has for you.
Are you a person who desires to care for others? Do you have compassion when you see someone hurting or in needs? Do you desire to be obedient to the Lord, even if it means not getting your next big break? Or, are you willing to do whatever it takes to make it big in business? Success in life dear Sister, has nothing to do with making it big. Society has been lying to us for years. Success has everything to do with following God’s plan, and allowing Him to direct your ways.
It took me a long time to be able to accept that being a stay at home homeschooling momma who writes on the side is success. Sure, I could go back out into the dog eat dog business world, but at what cost? God has blessed us with the financial ability for me to stay home. His plan was clearly to raise our son differently than what is mainstream. His plan for me was not to work outside of my home, but rather to minister from here. Maybe God’s plan for you is different? Maybe God has called you to be a corporate executive, showing the love of Jesus to your staff. Maybe you’re a mail clerk or a bus driver who God desires to be a light to all who see you.
Dear Sister, God has a specific plan for each one of us. No two plans are the same, but the end result always is to glorify God. When God receives glory for the things we do, that’s when we can truly say we are successful. The greatest success will come on the day we meet Jesus face to face. When the Lord says, ” ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ ” Matthew 25:21 says it all. Success means that we have been faithful to the Lord, followed His plan for our lives, and then…we will share eternity with Him.