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The Cost of Success

As a child, my dad’s job often kept him late six days a week. On his day off, he spent hours teaching me how to play baseball. When I hit my first home run, I remember sprinting to the end of the dugout, running past all of my teammates and leaping to the top of the chain link fence into my dad’s arms. I will never forget that moment. It felt like our hard work had finally paid off. To experience that first home run without my dad would have been a completely different experience.

Today, success is often defined by dollar signs and corporate titles, and the importance of relationships is ignored. In Ecclesiastes 4:8, Solomon paints a sad picture of a life wasted:

“There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. ‘For whom am I toiling,’ he asked, ‘and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?’ This too is meaningless -- a miserable business!”

It is easy to chase after worldly success and miss out on the very thing God has said we needed from the beginning. In Genesis 2:18, God said it was not good for man to be alone and created a helper for him. Adam was a successful animal namer, but his life was not complete until he had someone to share it with.

God wants us to enjoy success. But success at the expense of relationships is not success at all. Let’s not waste our lives sacrificing relationships to chase success that we will one day see as meaningless. Instead, let’s heed Solomon’s advice and measure our success in the relationships we build.

Reflect:

  • Are there any relationships you have damaged on the way to your success?
  • When you have good news, who do you look forward to sharing it with?

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