“I want money,
Money and the cars,
Cars and the clothes…
I just wanna be,
I just wanna be successful.”
Yes I know, this song is secular and I’m not encouraging that you download it on iTunes. But it does give its listeners ear candy while feeding them with images of what success looks like: nice cars, expensive clothing, lots of money, etc. Most people may believe that a “blessed” person has all of these things, but what does it really mean to be blessed? Does it have anything to do with material possessions? Does it go any deeper than what we can see?
What do you think of someone being “blessed?” Hmm, let’s see…a big, nice house, fancy car, fat bank account, and a nice big booty. We live in a society that worships material and superficial gain such as finances, job promotions, shiny awards, clothing, and big, fancy, houses. We are raised that this is what blessed living looks like. But what if I told you that living a truly blessed life has less to do with materialism and more to do with what’s going on inside of you, more to do with your relationship with God. Being blessed in life goes much deeper than material gain. Material gain only scratches the surface.
It is possible to have it all materialistically and still feel empty inside.
We are living in a time where having abundant blessings determine how blessed one is. If a person doesn’t flaunt her blessings (car, home, jewelry, vacation photos), she clearly is not that blessed. Yeah, I don’t think that sounds right, either.
We must know that contentment and having that “blessed” feeling comes from our relationship with God. It comes from inside us, not around us. It is found in our measure of peace and joy we experience because of our relationship with God, no matter what our circumstances may be.
Living a blessed and successful life is not about material desirables. Being truly blessed has everything to do with fulfillment, happiness, and, most importantly, having a relationship with God and keeping Him first in our lives. As I said earlier, one could have all the material possessions she could ever ask for and still feel empty. But why? Because tangible goods don’t feed the soul.
What does feed the soul?
Let me start off with an “eye-candy-versus-soul-food” metaphor. Eye candy is something that is more appealing to the human eye. It looks attractive and desirable and we just want to snag it right away because it will make us look good. But does that eye candy taste good? Is it fulfilling? Is it long lasting?
Then there is soul food. Soul food is what goes into our bodies and make our bellies full. It is made with love, care, and fills us with warmth and satisfaction. It gives us a longer lasting pleasure than eye candy does which may only give us visual pleasure. Soul food feeds the soul, but eye candy does not.
God, happiness, love, selflessness, spiritual fulfillment, and passion. I believe that one can experience a blessed life if their soul is constantly being fed with these things, especially with God and His fullness. Materialism only pleases the outside of us. It may make us look good, but physical fulfillment is temporary; it does not last. “Soul food,” however, lasts forever, even after we leave this earth and join the Lord in Heaven. That’s why as children of God must seek heavenly fulfillment that will last for an eternity. It shows God that we desire Him over worldly pleasures. We long for a slice of Heaven and God will give that to us while on earth when we seek Him wholeheartedly. It’s not like we can take our earthly possessions with us when we ascend up into Heaven. No. God wants us to desire Him and the fruits of the Spirit while on earth and even after He calls us home. There will be no smartphones in Heaven, no money, no expensive cars or clothes, just God, His tremendous love, breathtaking beauty, and unspeakable joy for all eternity!
If our source of happiness lies in material things, that happiness may not last for too long because people steal what they can physically touch. If our “blessings” can literally be taken away from us, what else do we have? Do we have joy? Do we have peace? Do we have faith or hope? A relationship with God? Is our happiness gone because we valued our tangibles more?
I believe that true success by being at peace with our lives, ourselves, and our relationship with God. Life doesn’t have to be perfect, but this peace comes from knowing God, knowing that He is working for your good every second, and finding the beauty in everyday moments.
Success to me is just being happy. Here are some questions we should ask ourselves:
Do I have a close, intimate relationship with God?
Am I living my life for God?
Am I happy with my job/work?
Do I wake up every morning excited to do what I’m passionate about?
Am I consistently and gladly giving from the heart?
Do I work with others as if working for the Lord?
Do I have a chance to enjoy life outside of work (or maybe even at work)?
Do I do what I love every day?
Am I happy with my relationships with my spouse, my family, my friends, and my work family?
We need not set our hearts on material affections and things of the world. But rather on things that are eternal. That’s where real success lies; that’s where a blessed life lies: living for God and finding fulfillment in our own lives, regardless of any of the flaws that it may have.
Stop looking at how the media and society define success because that’s what the world sees success. It is interesting how our society trains our minds into believing that being successful and blessed means having all that money can buy—nice car, a fancy house, perhaps a big, round booty. But it’s much more than that. It’s about fulfillment in God. It’s about serving.
Can you feel an intense love envelope you without a soul around? Can you grieve a loss but somehow still have hope? Can you be at peace even when everything around you is chaos? Do you love to give to the poor and needy even if you don’t receive anything in return?
Lovelies, I’ll end on this note. You don’t need a fancy car, but you do need transportation. You don’t need a big mansion, but you do need a home. You don’t need a million dollars but you do need money. If we just seek the kingdom of God first, if we have everything we need, and are at peace with our lives, we can live a truly blessed life.
Matthew 6:19-21—“ Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
1 Timothy 6:7-10—“For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Matthew 6:24—“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
Hebrews 13:5—“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Proverbs 11:28—“He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.”
Matthew 6:33—“ But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Luke 12:33—“ Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.”
Philippians 4:13—“ I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
Proverbs 16:3—“ Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”
Psalm 37:4—“ Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
Proverbs 3:1-4—“ My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: so shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.”
James 4:10—” Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
Matthew 6:25-33—“ Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Proverbs 3:5—“ Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”
Other helpful verses
Romans 12:2—”And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Jeremiah 29:11—“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
2 Corinthians 9:7—”Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Acts 20:35—“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Luke 6:38—“ Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
2 Corinthians 9:6—“ The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
I want to hear from you! What do you think it means to be blessed? What do you think it means to be successful? Does it go deeper than materialism? I would love to hear your thoughts. Please comment below : )