Who is most successful? Grandma Moses or Michelangelo? Dolly Parton or Pavarotti? We measure each by varying standards, don't we?
Michelangelo's art is so different from that of Grandma Moses, yet each was successful in their individual genre.
Dolly and Pavarotti have commanding voices but weren't cut out for the same stage. Although, I bet they'd have made an exciting duo. Crossing them over to the other's style would probably cause them to fail. I can't imagine Dolly singing opera or Pavarotti getting down home with a country ballad, can you?
And while Michelangelo might be able to create a lovely country scene, Grandma Moses would have difficulty painting the Sistine Chapel. It's unfair to ask them to be more than they are or to perform in a different manner than that which God ordained.
What about budding artists? Do we discount their work because it lacks maturity and refinement, or do we encourage growth and appreciate the effort? Would we call Abraham Lincoln or Colonel Sanders failures? Did they learn from their stumbles and hurdles? Of course, they did. Then, so can we1 The same can be said for a young lawyer, doctor, parent, or Christian writer. They all start somewhere. Success is built - not attained.
An attitude of competition is destructive.We put undue pressure on ourselves and others when we try to fit into boxes we designed to make ourselves successful, boxes God did not ordain for us. We measure ourselves by the success of others and feel like failures. God says comparing ourselves among ourselves is not wise, but we fall too often for the comparison game.
We are not yet all we can be, but we are on the path to becoming what we will be. So let's keep going. God's design is individual and unique. Our path is divinely ordained, and as long as we follow our Lord, we are successful.
It's time to stop playing King of the Mountain and let the King show us the way to happiness and contentment. Friend, this competition game kills your joy and never brings the happiness you seek.
Who is most successful? The person whose life is built upon the solid Word of God and who seeks His praise above their own. It's not about purse strings or the accolades of this world. It is about making God King of the Mountain, then hearing "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."