I think there is one key ingredient to be successful in any arena of life. It is the willingness to do whatever it takes to bring success. Obviously, a Christian would not indulge in any behavior that is ungodly, unlawful, or immoral. Beyond that boundary is a world of hard work, inconvenience, and self-motivation.
When I meet with other ministers, they ask me what I am doing to help our Church to grow more disciples. I respond with a short and direct answer. First, growth is the result of the work of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. We have people who pray for us, serve in the Lord’s name, and are united in Jesus. Second, we are willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. If I need to collect trash to make the building look cleaner, then I collect garbage. If it takes twelve hours a week minimum to prep for the sermon, then that is what I do. I am willing to work, clean, call, confront, think, plan, read, and put in long hours.
This principle is in no way limited to ministry. It works in almost every area of life. Do you want great kids? Are you willing to work with them night after night, giving up free time and helping them succeed? Do you want a marriage with a deep connection and unconditional love? What are you doing every day to produce that result?
Whenever I meet people, and they tell me about some perceived problem in their life, I usually can dissect the information and find a lack of willingness to do whatever it takes. They want the school to make their kids great with minimal effort on their part. They want their spouse to do the work it takes to make a great marriage. They want all of the rewards with little work. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. Success is inconvenient and difficult to obtain.
What about you? Have you made boundaries that make success impossible? You want the blessing but have said, “But I won’t do that.” I believe that God is ultimately the one who blesses our lives, but I have never seen him deliver it without an honest effort on our part. My key to a happy life is simple, “Work as if everything depends on you and trust as if everything depends on God.”