“Have I been fruitful? Have I been attractive? Am I good? Do people desire to be like Christ when they interact with me? That’s the key. That’s a mark of distinction.”
The world’s view of success has clouded some aspects of the church at large. Cheryl Martin shares the dangers of a “bigger is better” mindset.
“I see this infiltrating the church. The whole emphasis on who is a pastor of a mega-church and people spouting off how many members we have… what’s the point? Is that really the sign of a healthy church or a successful church in God’s eyes?”
God’s view of success is directly tied to faithfulness and walking with Christ. Our success in the kingdom is not based on numbers. It’s based on what happens when we use our gifts to cultivate faith and point others back to God. Cheryl refers to the book of Jude, written by a follower of Jesus in the first century A.D. It’s a single chapter long – easily eclipsed in length by Romans and Revelation. But that doesn’t change its worth in the eyes of God!
“Jude wrote what God gave him. So can I say that another book of the Bible is more important or more effective than Jude? That book was written and it accomplished what God wanted it to accomplish.”
The ministry in front of us is appointed by God; it’s not a matter of size, wealth, or competition. That truth should put everything into proper perspective. When we consider the calling of God on our life, there’s no room for pride or comparison.
“We should have a spirit of humility that the more God gives us, the more humble I need to become.”
Cheryl uses the example of fruit. We can’t compare a raspberry to a banana. A watermelon isn’t better than the other fruits because of its size. The test is one of taste – is it ripe? Is it juicy? Does it satisfy? Our gifts and ministries have the same standard. Are we carrying the sweet aroma of Christ to those around us? When people interact with us, do they leave longing for Jesus or are they left with a bitter taste? Our success is based on how well we point others to Christ.
Consider Matthew 6:33,
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
For Cheryl, and for all of us who follow Jesus, the goal is clear.
“I need to focus on one thing: utilizing and maximizing what the heavenly Father is given me, because I will have to give an account one day with that assignment and that’s the only thing that will matter.”
Cheryl Martin is passionate about encouraging women to do all of life God’s way, because it’s the best way. Cheryl has served on the boards of World Vision US, ECFA, and Wycliffe Bible Translators. She is the author of two books: Distinctly You and .
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