Winning God through Success

Work earns us money. Work can win us the respect of people. But does work win over God?

In an article on Desiring God, Marshall Segal exposes success as a lethal drug in our jobs, though society tries to convince us otherwise. The message of success is rehashed from an early age when we start school, and eventually can become a self-driving motivation when we start work. In fact, Australian author, Lisa Pryor acknowledges through her own experience that “No matter how much a student fights it, at law school and business school it is hard not to be taken in by the idea that the ultimate achievement in life is to get a job at a firm which is bigger, fancier and pays better than anywhere else.”[1]

Success promises us esteem, control and security – the very things we had surrendered in our sin, yet success elevated on a pedestal can easily lead us to assume that we are therefore worthy in God’s sight.

In response to this, Marshall questions if our work is a search of redemption by success or an act of worship as those already redeemed.  Needless to say, he encourages us to do the latter, by working in line with the gospel and in love for the world. Why are we able to do this?

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else.”  Acts 17:24-25

Work does not win God over, because we cannot offer him anything in the first place! On the surface level, we may not subscribe to such thinking, but when we examine our true motivations for work it would be unsurprising if we thought they could somehow redeem us.

How do you work for God?

Prayer points:

·         To work out of the security in Christ that was given to us, rather than out of a need to prove ourselves that stems from insecurity

·         To work for the sake of others instead of trying to only serve ourselves


[1] The Pinstriped Prison- How Overachievers get trapped in corporate jobs they hate

Faith, blessings and success

When we are faithful in our work, do we think our work is blessed because of our faith?

‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11

Is success the mark of a blessed Christian?

In an article on The Gospel Coalition, ‘8 Lies Christians believe about Success’ are considered. Among which, is the lie that God’s blessing is tangible. Too often, Christians believe that they are justified in receiving higher pay, a promotion, a better job and so on, because they assume God rewards the faithful in this way.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

                Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

                Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

                Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peace makers, for they will be called sons of God.

                Blessed are those who are persecuted, because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’  Matthew 5:3-10

Rather than physical and material blessings, Jesus reminds us that our blessings are of eternal value because we know Christ. Similar to the Jeremiah passage, God had promised blessing to His people if they sought after Him as God. To these exiles, the promise of the restoration of physical land was a great reward, but how much greater it is for us who have the kingdom of heaven!

Faithfulness does not necessarily equal material success. But faith gives us blessings that we can rejoice in now and forever.