The Search for Significance
"Then he [Jesus] said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.'"1
Not all by any means, but most of the motivational books and lectures that I have read and heard pretty much measure success in terms of wealth and material gain. For example, businessmen and women who are considered successful are those who have built an effective business that has become very profitable financially. Most of these "successful" people have been totally committed to and have invested their life in achieving their goal of success.
However, many or at least some of these people after they have reached the pinnacle of success in terms of the world's measure of success ask themselves, "Is this all there is to life?" and wonder, "What have I achieved with my life that will leave anything of lasting value after I have gone? What, if anything, have I contributed to the betterment of mankind?" In other words, "What have I done of lasting significance?"
The reality is that one can achieve success and receive many accolades and obtain wide recognition, and yet not have achieved anything of lasting significance. On the other hand, if one has invested his or her life in things of lasting value, he or she is the one who has achieved real success and whose life is truly significant—with or without any accolades, recognition, or monetary gain.
In other words I can be "outwardly successful" but not have any significance, but if I have achieved significance I will be truly successful.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to become significant by my life's priorities, in the way I invest my life, and in the worthwhile goals I achieve—and be genuinely successful by Your standards. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. Luke 12:15 (NIV).