In Pursuit Of Excellence

Day 5 of 7 • This day’s reading


Paradox of Success

We often see successful people struggling to keep their work-life balance and, in the process, compromise their family relationships and more importantly their relationship with God. In his book, The Paradox of Success, John O’Neil asks the question if ‘winning at work means losing in life?’

Success can mean accomplishing short-term goals to the long-range detriment of those engaged in creating the success. Effectiveness, on the other hand, accomplishes the long-range growth and development of those involved in producing the desired result. As a believer, we must aim at majoring on long-range effectiveness and not short-term success.

In the Bible, we see people like Samson and Saul who started well but success got the better of them. At the same time, we see people like Joseph, Daniel, Esther and Ruth being successful but remaining faithful to their calling.

One can find the ‘balance’ only when we make Christ the center of our lives. Life is full of conflicts and it boils down to how we respond to them. Prioritization is the key. If there is a direct conflict between work and family or work and our relationship with God, which gets prioritized?

We often rationalize that work is God-ordained and hence we need to be faithful. While it is true, we need to ask what our motives for prioritizing work are when our family needs our time.

Another paradox we find is our children are often small and need us more when our careers are on the rise. I keep hearing that it is a season when you need to compromise on your family to be successful so that your family can be comfortable later on. The problem is that children grow only once and they may not need us when we think we will have the time.

Lord, You are the one who makes plans that stand forever. Teach me to love people more than my plans. Reveal Your plans to me before the idea is ever upon my mind. Let me recognize Your extraordinary work in my life for this season You have granted me. Amen