PERHAPS we have been thinking that we have failed, or that we are getting nowhere, or that our goals have not been achieved. Instead of ruminating over failure, however, we can begin today to get on with redemption and restoration. We can build on a solid foundation for success by gaining an understanding of what truly constitutes success. Volumes could be written, and many have been written, giving examples of the world's measurement of success. Popularity, position, possessions, are a few of the considerations thought to be important in measuring a person's attainments. But they tell us nothing about the true, spiritual basis of success.
In the very first chapter of the Scriptures, our origin, heritage, and destiny are shown to be good and to have a spiritual basis. We are told that God created man in His own likeness. Man, then, is the expression, the manifestation, of God. Since God is good and man is His likeness, our true nature is good! Shouldn't our success, then, be equated with expressing the God-derived qualities that constitute our true selfhood?--with actually being what God made us to be?
Certainly ``God is no respecter of persons.''1 Whether we're the president of a corporation or one who cleans its offices, we are successful to the degree we are choosing to express His good qualities and are rejecting evil. If self-will, egotism, fear, and so forth are being replaced by a desire to do God's will, by humility and love, we are being successful in the deepest sense of that term. If selfish aims and pride are being abandoned for an acknowledgment that all good comes from God and for a desire to express good in order to glorify Him, we are following a successful path.
So if you have been suffering from a devastating sense of failure, if you are overwhelmed by frustration with the frailties of human experience, look again at how you're measuring success. Success can't properly be measured in material terms--by wealth or position--but only in spiritual terms, only in terms of how well we are demonstrating our sonship with God.
Without question, the most successful individual the world has seen was Christ Jesus. He expressed more fully than anyone else the divine nature and demonstrated man's relationship to God through his healing works. He gave to the world the clearest proof it has ever had of God's redeeming and restoring love.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes of man's relationship to God in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``The real man being linked by Science to his Maker, mortals need only turn from sin and lose sight of mortal selfhood to find Christ, the real man and his relation to God, and to recognize the divine sonship. Christ, Truth, was demonstrated through Jesus to prove the power of Spirit over the flesh,--to show that Truth is made manifest by its effects upon the human mind and body, healing sickness and destroying sin.''2
Jesus affirmed his unity with God, his inseparability from the creator, when he said, ``I and my Father are one.''3 He identified the good he expressed as having its origin in God. As we claim, through prayer, our spiritual origin and heritage, and strive to express our real, God-given nature, we are following to some degree the Master's example and we are beginning to see where true success lies--in our inalienable Godlikeness.
1Acts 10:34. 2Science and Health, p. 316. 3John 10:30. You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Matthew 16:26