Many in the world today are longing and striving for success. Poet Emily Dickinson observed, ''Success is counted sweetest /By those who ne'er succeed.'' If success were judged solely on the basis of position, possessions, or popularity, then the measure of one's success would hinge on the place one fills , the things one owns, or the people one knows. But do these factors in themselves constitute success? Not really.
Christian Science shows that a successful life is a life lived in obedience to God's laws. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ''The predisposing and exciting cause of all defeat and victory under the sun, rests on this scientific basis: that action, in obedience to God, spiritualizes man's motives and methods, and crowns them with success; while disobedience to this divine Principle materializes human modes and consciousness , and defeats them.'' n1
n1 Miscellaneous Writings, pp. 267-268.
The Master instructed his disciples, ''Follow me.'' As long as they did so, they were successful men, successful missionaries and healers. Christ Jesus set an example for his followers - past and present - by his obedience to God and by his according of authority and power, honor and glory, to Him. Jesus didn't take personal credit but insisted, ''The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.'' n2 Echoing the Master's viewpoint, Mrs. Eddy states, ''You soar only as uplifted by God's power, or you fall for lack of the divine impetus.'' n3
n2 John 14:10.
n3 The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 248.
How can we be sure there is no lack of divine impetus in our own lives, since such lack would indicate failure rather than success? We can strive to express the divinely derived qualities of wisdom, love, integrity, unselfishness, goodness, sincerity, and the like, which are closely associated with success; and we can prayerfully seek God's direction, His will, in our daily decisions and actions. Decisions based on God-derived inspiration, rather than on fear, limitation, and narrow human reasoning, can lead to inspired action.
A young woman who knew nothing about investments was asked by her recently widowed mother to take charge of some funds. This was an important matter because proper investment of these funds was required to meet long-range needs. Turning to the one divine Mind for guidance, the young woman felt strongly led to take certain steps. Although a relative familiar with the investment field and a professional broker both advised against these steps, the young woman stuck by her prayerful decision and completed the transaction. Later, the results proved beyond doubt that she had taken the right course of action. Her mother's needs were amply supplied.
Although both mother and daughter rejoiced over the successful investment, they saw it as only one more proof of the beneficial effects of radical reliance on God and faithful obedience to divine direction. ''They shall prosper that love thee,'' n4 declared the Psalmist. Making certain that God is directing our path, giving Him the glory for every achievement, and loving Him and the qualities of thought that reflect His nature above all else, one inevitably sees evidence of God's care in his life. Then he can claim success in the truest sense of the word.
n4 Psalms 122:6.
As heirs of God, His children reflect the intelligence and intuition of infinite Mind, express the vitality and eternality of divine Life, possess the satisfying and enduring substance of perfect Spirit. Man occupies the highest possible position in the universe - the son of God, forever about the Father's business. Accepting this spiritual truth, and conforming our thoughts and lives to it in increasing degree, we'll find real success! DAILY BIBLE VERSE
For who is God, save the Lord? and who is a rock, save our God? God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect. Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy gentleness hath made me great. Thou hast enlarged my steps under me; so that my feet did not slip. II Samuel 22:32, 33, 36, 37