How much are you willing to give in order to attain earthly standards of success?
I noticed that some of my most prized possessions are now starting to fade, rust or have been misplaced. As I noticed the slight hole that had formed in one of my wish list sweaters, I thought about how much I was willing to give up at the time to attain it – and all for what? It got me thinking about earthy standards of success and how it is far better to invest in the part of ourselves that is eternal – the soul. We all need soul care.
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world [wealth, fame, success], but forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26(AMP)
I have come to understand that with earthly success you get exactly what you put in – in other words, no “profit” is made. Despite how hard we work, we cannot take our prized possessions with us – we will leave it all behind for others to enjoy. However, when you live with an eternal mindset (i.e. you take care of your soul), you do make a profit as you are storing up treasures in heaven “where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:20, AMP). This is not to undermine the need to work with excellence and to enjoy the fruits of our labour whilst on Earth, but we profit nothing if we gain such things at the detriment of our souls.
earthly success + soul care = earthly success + treasures beyond this life <profit is made> earthly success
+ soul care= earthly success <no profit is made>
What does soul care look like?
- Taking the time to rest from the regular work schedule
I have started practising the Sabbath – which is a day (typically on a Sunday) where I intentionally feed my soul by simply enjoying God: worshipping with a church community, journalling and reflecting on the past week.
- Reminding yourself of your values
I have previously spoken about how values can serve as a compass: “it keeps you on the right path and if you go astray, it helps you find your center.” What is your why for showing up each day? Have you started to deviate from this why? Only intentional check-ins can make you aware of this.
These are just two examples of what soul care can consist of but it’s up to you to identify practices that will maintain your soul.
Don’t sell your soul for a handbag I see you looking at the price tag There’s an amount too high to pay And you’re the only one who can decide that. Dante Bowe,'good times'(2021)
The soul requires high maintenance, so we ought to structure our lives accordingly. When we think of high maintenance, we often think of the “luxury aesthetic” – but they too fade even with six-figure maintenance. The soul, however is priceless – there is no back up. So, the soul quite literally requires a Higher maintenance as we cannot maintain our souls by human efforts alone. We need grace: God-given strength.
I understand that not everyone reading this shares the same faith in God, but I would be selling this space short if I did not speak on what actually enables my success and what I believe is the foundation of true success.
If I should put my definition of success in its simplest terms: God is my success. This is because all the things that I have achieved and hope to achieve, are made possible because of Him. Also, everything I need and want from life is found in God. He is the More, and so He is my success.
‘On growth, change & success: personal reflections’
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