Something isn’t right, when you find the weight of failures of life on your shoulders, even more so, when such failures are beyond your control and determining. Last Tuesday marked payday, a day of inward celebration, where one sees a temporary spike of numbers increase and wallets itch to spend. And yet, I strangely found myself reminded of something that I haven’t achieved in life – earthly success.

Success is an interesting word that is ambiguous in meaning, where many people trip up and fall into the temptation of pursuing and storing earthly riches and short-lived materials, in a very self-centred culture. I own three materials that I value – all of which, have been personally invested from my own pockets. A MacBook Pro (17-inch Early 2011), a Canon EOS 350D SLR camera, and a Cambridge NLT Pitt Minion Reference Bible – bound in black goatskin leather, with red-under-gold edges and printed on fine Indian paper.

I could list a host of other items on deck, but these earthly possessions hold meaning for me. Financially, I’m not successful, and though I do not carry debt or prize my eyes and heart to superficial expectations, I feel somewhat sad that I’m not living a ‘comfortable life’ with a career and overflowing wealth. Especially, when you graduated from two university degrees. I should really be living it large in self-indulgence, but I choose not to. Ultimately, I do not want dedicate my life to serving a boss and slaving away with a view to earn lots of cash, only to waste on materials, but I’m expectant of serving for the Kingdom of God with a fulfilling purpose in mind. And yet, I feel annoyed at times, as naturally, I’m attracted to the artificial wealth and comfortable living. But I know it is not my calling, and that is why I struggle at times.

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. -Matthew 6:12 (ESV)

I also believe I’m not the only Christian who struggles at times with this thought. As Scripture reminds us.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. -Romans 12:2 (ESV)

Not only are we to stand out as beacons of light for the LORD in the example of Christ Jesus, but we are to live out our Christian faith with the anointing and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and follow Jesus in all that we say and do.

~Richard