Rethink Success


Idoubt many people wake up each morning planning to be exhausted. We just don’t open our eyes and think, Oh! Today I’m going to be burned-out, miserable, and depleted. But before we can address the things that leave us drained, we must address the thoughts that spread us thin.

Many talented people fail to realize their full potential because they incorrectly define success. Years ago, I met a child who had been diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome. One of the debilitating symptoms of this genetic disorder is an endless feeling of hunger. My heart broke for the little boy who had just finished his meal but sat weeping because he was still hungry. His parents fed him, but the little guy’s mind could not register that his tummy had been filled. How often do we approach life in a similar manner? We enjoy our current jobs, but we have an endless hunger for a promotion. Our boss just gave us a wonderful review, but we’re already pining for the next bit of recognition. This flawed thinking feeds our frantic lives.

Some of our burdensome thoughts are the result of living in a fallen world. Our culture has a way of sneaking into our psyches through movies, music, books, fashion, and trends. I’ll go out on a limb here and tell you that Satan also has his hooks set in us. He attempts to keep us busy, so that we’re spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally bankrupt. Like our culture, the devil tells us that a busy life is a success life—but that’s not true!

To intentionally pursue the abundant life, we must rethink our definition of success. Success is not defined by “doing more” or “having more.” James 4:1 asks, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” Oh yes, James—our thoughts and internal battles are often our worst enemies. However, in the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus did not lay down His life for us to spend our waking moments exhausted—acquiring status and things. So, consider these vital questions: What is your definition of success? Does it lead to an abundant life or a depleted life? c




Life is exhausting, isn’t it? Ellen Miller gets it―and she wrote Spread Too Thin just for you. Whatever stage of life you find yourself in, you don’t have to live it frantically. Through biblical insight and occasional humor, this 90-day devotional offers an honest look at the obligations that leave us drained, and it points women toward a more abundant life.

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