How Does God Define Success In My Life

Your kitchen is spotless (even though you served a dinner tonight that would shame Betty Crocker); your body is lean and toned from your 5 mile run and yoga session this morning; your hair and makeup are still impeccable; and your Bible is right where you left it this morning after your hour long prayer and devotional time.

You sigh contentedly, because, after all, your life is so perfect.

Or not.

For years I have competed with this Martha Stewart meets Jillian Michaels meets Beth Moore vision of Proverbs 31 perfection.  She is a mighty foe.


But how the world defines success and how God defines success is very different. 

woman talking on the phone with large text how does god define success

And in recent days I have realized fighting the perfectionist’s battle for a successful life is a useless struggle. I only exhaust and discourage myself.  

And when I’m fighting her I’m stuck in one place, circling old enemies…..those 10, 15, ok 20 pounds, that consistent prayer time, that hateful sink full of dirty dishes…and I’m not moving forward.

God has set me free to define success as He defines it.

How Does God Define Success?

1. Moving forward.

“No dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and the heavenly prize for which God, in Christ Jesus is calling us.” -Philippians 3:13-14

Do the next right thing in your life. There is no reason to get caught up in living perfectly. God knows you’re not perfect! That’s why He sent Jesus. 

Bible and cup of coffee with light streaming from back corner

2. Faithfulness in small things. 

“The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”  -Matt 25:23

God doesn’t define achievement in big, flashy ways. He doesn’t keep score of our lives in that way. God is looking for faithfulness. 

Day after day after day doing the small things that maybe no one but you will notice. But over time they add up to a lifetime of faithfulness in your faith and a rich relationship with the Lord. 

young mom with three kids around a christmas tree

3. Not perfection, but a daily perfecting. 

“Because we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that can defile our body or spirit. And let us work toward complete holiness because we fear God.” 2 Cor 7:1

God only has sinners to work with, friends. You can’t be perfect, but you can embrace a daily growth in holiness, becoming more like Jesus a little more every day. 

As you turn to Jesus in your big and little moments, as you read your Bible, as you grow your prayer life, as you parent your kids, grow in your community—all these little moments add up. 

Bible and claiming the promises Bible study on a table with mug of tea.

This is the journey I want to share with you.  

  • Repainting your living room isn’t the only way to beautify your home–those $4.99 bouquets from Walmart work well too!
  • No time for a 40 minute quiet time? Sing along to David Crowder in your car. Look for simple Bible studies you can do in 10 minutes or less. 
  • Noshing on celery instead of potato chips; or maybe just having one piece of chocolate a week. (Ha! That’s a joke, I could never do that.)

Seeing success the way God sees it, doesn’t have to be complicated.

It is one small step at a time over and over and over again–valuing consistency and persistence over flashy and quick.

Moving Forward When You're Stuck

In each little step, each move forward– I become, we become, the women we are called to be.

How do you embrace success as God defines it?

To read more about becoming unstuck in perfectionism check out my series…

Trademarks of a Perfectionist, Part 1

Trademarks of a Perfectionist, Part 2

Trademarks of a Perfectionist, Part 3

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  1. You encourage me Katie. I can hardly believe what a Godly woman you are, and that you are my daughter. In spite of the crazy and disfunctional mother you had, God has done such a good job with you. You bring glory to His name! Love you so much, Mamma

  2. This post came at such a good time. I have my struggles as well. Thank you for the encouraging words!

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