Success

My Experience With Success

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As we begin our journey, I would like to share with you my personal experiences with success as the world and popular society defines it and what I have come to know as true, lasting and real success.  My journey began, like everyone else, as a child.  It’s when we are young and impressionable that our beliefs, attitudes and behaviors are formed.  They affect the rest of our lives, and for many people, it is never realized that they may develop these characteristics in an atmosphere that isn’t or wasn’t supportive of real success. 

God Is Not Against Us Being Wealthy 

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“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields–and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.’clxvii 

I want to point out that God is not against you attaining wealth. If you make sacrifices and give, he will provide you with a hundred-fold return. You don’t have to wait until you get to heaven for that hundred-fold return either. The hundred-fold return is “in this present age.” You must realize that a hundred-fold return on this earth is a very small reward compared to what you get when you arrive in heaven. That is, eternal life. 

Within this scripture, right along with your blessing, Jesus mentions that persecution comes along with your reward. There are many people who become jealous when their friends, family and neighbors attain success. They see others becoming successful as their failure. They may even criticize you for obtaining the very things that they themselves want. 

Are you responsible enough to be blessed? Blessed people always stir up controversy. They tend to offend those who choose to live in mediocrity. Remember, to him whom much is given, much is required. There is a huge responsibility for those people God chooses to become leaders and builders of faith. Hard work and faith will always lead to success. Success will always lead to controversy and criticism. 

Remember this on your journey: “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”clxviii 

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.”clxix  

As I have established, the pursuit of money at all costs is evil. I have seen the scenario played out so many times. A young family just starting out discovers that they want so many more things than what their current income can support. The husband starts working harder and the wife starts working harder. They see less and less of each other and the kids. This is where the family begins to disintegrate. 

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The truth is, all that they must do is stop chasing the money and ask God for their needs and wants. Of course, they need to ask in a spirit of total faith. They also need to pursue the things of God, rather than the things of the world. These things that are worth pursuing are righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Jesus said that if you seek God, “all these things shall be added unto you.”clxx 

I spent my early 20’s fresh out of college working 15 hours a day, “chasing the money.” I always believed in God, but I had the belief that only by working so much would I ever achieve financial success; nothing could be further from the truth. God will take care of you. God will give you all things. He does this when he knows that you are truly seeking Him; not seeking Him just to gain wealth. You must seek the giver, not the gift. Would you want a friend or family member who is more interested in what you can give him or her more than they are in loving you? God feels the same way. 

If you know all of this, why is money such a touchy subject and why do you worry so much about it?  I believe it is because you trade your time for some amount of money per hour or week or year. 

God Bless

Michael at R2W

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Who Do You Want To Be? 

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It’s a great question, but so few people have actually thought much about the answer.  It’s easy to avoid this topic, especially if you have been caught up in the world’s version of success.  You have probably been too busy to think this through logically but you can now. 

Answer this question now.  Don’t just write: I want to be a good person or a better spouse or a better parent.  Describe your life in detail.  Look at every facet of your life.  Write about your relationships, finances, health, spirituality and any other area of your life that you would like to change or improve.  Why are you doing this?  Because you become what you think about.  The Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius said, “A man’s life is what his thought makes of it.” 

Create A Health Plan 

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I thought about supplying sample exercise plans and sample diets in this article, but I decided against it.  At first, I thought that if I supplied the plans, then more people would follow through.  As I thought about it further, I realized that if somebody were going to follow through, they would be willing to do the work.  I believe that if it is important enough to you and I gave you the facts, you would do the research and figure out exactly what you need to do.  I did not want to influence your health needs with what I do.  You need to figure out what will work best for you. 

The Beginning: Real Success 

The first thing you need to determine is who you are now.  This may seem like an easy task at first and it should be easy, but I believe that there has been so much confusion about who or what a person should be, that they might be unable to define who they are.  The good news is that after a short time, it will become easier to answer the question: Who are you?  Once you are able to answer this question clearly and truthfully, it will be easier for you to determine who you want to become. 

Random Thoughts on Health 

There are some other things that I have found to help improve your health.  Some of these ideas may seem like common sense to you, some of them you may not have thought of.  I throw them out to you now, as ideas you can use and work on, to help you in your pursuit of physical health.   

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The first one is to avoid drugs and alcohol.  At their worst they cause broken families, broken lives and much pain.  At their best they cause drowsiness and lack of ambition.  Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaints?  Who has needless bruises?  Who has bloodshot eyes?  Those who linger over wine, who go to sample bowls of mixed wine. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!  In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.  Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things.  You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging.  ‘They hit me,’ you will say, ‘but I’m not hurt!  They beat me, but I don’t feel it!  When will I wake up so I can find another drink?'”xcii 

Things To Remember While Pursuing Success 

There are several things I ask you to keep in mind as you are learning to grasp this new concept of success.  These tips will help you to thoroughly evaluate where you stand with regards to real success in your life.  Some of them have been mentioned already and all of them will be mentioned again.   

The first thing to remember is that “experts” complicate things.  This is not to say that you shouldn’t seek help or ask for guidance when you need it.  I think seeking advice is very important.  Plans are established by seeking advice…”ix  I am saying you should ask people who are getting the results you are seeking.  Don’t ask someone simply because they are an “expert.”  Also, don’t avoid asking someone, simply because they are not formally educated on a topic. I remember when I used to pay hundreds of dollars to have the brakes done on my car.  The mechanic would make the procedure sound difficult and complicated.  Then one day, without enough money to get a much-needed brake job, I decided to do some research.  What I found was how amazingly simple doing a brake job is.  If you can change a tire you can fix your brakes.x  I have since saved thousands of dollars because I stopped relying on “the experts.” 

“Self-Help” Programs Don’t Help 

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I remember when I was really young, probably my early teens, I read an ad in a magazine about being able to do or be anything I wanted.  So, like many other people, I decided to give it a shot.  Guess what?  It didn’t work.  I was out about twenty dollars, but even worse, my wallet was open.  I pursued these programs, buying new ones as they came out.  After all, once a publisher or distributor of “self-help” programs sells you one, you are then on their mailing list and you begin to receive catalogs describing how good things can be, if you only spend a little more money.  Like most people, I spent a ton of money, but got nowhere.   

Cheerful Tithing 

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I am going to take some time, right now, to discuss a very controversial topic.  It has become controversial, but it really shouldn’t be.  I am going to discuss tithing, or the practice of taking ten percent of everything you make and giving it away, first, before you do anything else with your money.  I am not talking about generosity in general; I am talking about tithing in particular.  Tithing is not “generosity.”  Tithing is required.  There is an entire principle based on generosity.  For now, let’s discuss taking the first ten percent of everything you make and giving it away.  I can see those of you who know about tithing with your eyes glazing over, but stick with me now.  Those of you who haven’t heard about tithing are going to get a very important lesson.  It will have a direct impact on your future financial prosperity.