Posted by: bshelley | March 17, 2008

Seeking God’s Heart- by Bryan Shelley

Entry for March 18, 2008

Today’s Verse: 1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. NASB

One of the best bits of advice I ever received came from a savvy Vice President at a big corporation I worked at a few years ago. I had struggled for years with constantly trying to make more and more money. He called me into his office and simply offered that, “If you measure your success by how much you make, you will never be happy.” The more I pondered that advice, the more it helped me reorder my perspective about how I approached life. I had spent many years trying to impress my father, who was very successful, and had let salary and position become the personification of whether I was being successful or not. I was miserable as a result. That truth made a lot of sense over time and as I actually internalized it and allowed it to change my value system, I was able to let go of all the worry and struggle related to constantly climbing up various ladders and pay grades. It did not change overnight, but ultimately it paved the way for some enormous changes in my life. Freed from seeing money and upward movement in management as success, I gave up corporate life, went to two years of preaching school on support and found myself preaching in Central California. That journey was made possible in part by that man’s rebuffing a wrong value system in my life. Paul is addressing some of the same wrong thinking here. He’s chastising those who would minister as a means of monetary gain. Certainly, we don’t have to think too long, or turn the TV very many channels  even today before being able to come up with a couple of names of those who appear to be caught in that type of ministry. Paul tells us that we can receive great gain from godliness. However, that gain he is talking about is greater than any worldly wealth can afford. If we set our sights and values on the right things, godly things, we gain it all for eternity. We can also live lives that are contented wherever and however we are blessed. That is the contentment one can have by no other means than a focus on God’s righteousness and values. That, my friends, is the true measure of success.

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