How The Bible Sees Success And What It Means For Us (Part 2 Of A Two-Part Series)

Being Successful With A Purpose


In this series’ first part, we talked about financial success from a Biblical perspective. Now, we are going to examine how the Bible views success as a whole. Read on to find out!

The world promotes two false notions – one, that we can be who we want to be, given that we work hard for it, and, two, we can all be the best in this world.

In his book Counterfeit Gods, NY pastor Tim Keller wrote that these two ideas promoted by today’s culture are damaging in these ways:

  • That our achievements lead us to think that we, ourselves, are gods or are in equal standing with God.
  • That our security comes from the works of our own hands – in our success, our wisdom, our performance, our strengths.
  • That at the top means no one is like us; we are the ultimate.

Unlike many books preaching financial freedom, this one really shifts your perspective on some essential levels. In other words, it is not about investing—it focuses on day-to-day choices and how they impact your present and future financial life. — Nicole S. Urdang, MS, NCC, DHM

The Christian world argues that we shouldn’t think this way. And in answer to these deceitful views on success are the five essential things we need to remember about being successful, according to the Bible.


  1. Success Is A Result Of Our Work

God created Adam, the first human being, to work and that purpose hasn’t changed throughout the millenniums. In another part of the Scriptures, we’re told that we should do our “work willingly, as though (we’re) serving the Lord himself, and not just (our) earthly master.”

This passage denotes two things:

– That our lives involve working, so there’s nothing wrong with pursuing an earthly career, using our abilities in charitable ways, or even answering to a higher calling.

– We’re encouraged to give our bests in whatever we do not because people will see us, but that God will be pleased with the works of our hands.


  1. We Have To Acknowledge God’s Provisions In Our Work

God provides the capabilities and the talents we need to be successful in whatever we do. In return, we need to make productive use of these provisions. In the Parable of the Talents, the master got angry with the servant who hid the one talent he had in his backyard. It is because he doesn’t want us to make passive use of these abilities.

By working actively then, we can be assured that whatever we’re working on will be successful.

Economists have studied financial literacy for decades, and have found that a basic understanding of how personal finances work (e.g., stocks are riskier than bonds, but provide a higher return over the longer term) is crucial to making good financial decisions. — Utpal Dholakia Ph.D.

3.We’re Created To Be Diverse

With all these talks about equality in our society today, there’s always this one realization people tend to ignore – we’re not created equal. If we were then, we’d all have the same talents, abilities, and capabilities. No, we were made to be diverse and connect with each other through these diversities just like how puzzle pieces fill in to make up one picture.

However, it doesn’t mean that we should measure success by the talents and abilities an individual has. The master in the parable measured his servants’ success through the degree of their efforts, in how the servants used and multiplied the money he left them. He wasn’t angry at the third servant for the one talent; it was him who gave that in the first place. The master’s anger was a result of the fact that the servant didn’t use it but chose to hide it because he feared the former.


  1. Our Success Isn’t For Our Own; It’s For God

When we become successful in life, we tend to think that we attained it through our efforts and strengths. That’s the belief pushed by the world today. But in light of the first three principles – especially #2 – discussed in this article, it’s apparently wrong.

The Bible states that everything we have now, even our lives, comes from God so. Naturally, we also owe Him our success. However, God isn’t like any other human lenders who ask double or even triple payments of whatever we borrowed from Him, of whatever He gave us. We pay through sharing what we have with others – stewardship.

Long term peace of mind, happiness, and well-being to not rise when income rises. The daily specificities of our lives—our relationships, our values, and our personal struggles—are what define us more than the money we make. — John Smith Ph.D.

5. We Are Accountable For Whatever Success We Had In This World

Success, in itself, is as much as a blessing from God as it is a result of our endeavors. In the end, we will most likely be answering this question: “What did you do to the success (the talents, the capabilities, the provisions) I gave you?”


To sum it all up, Biblical success is more than just the acquisition of material and earthly things, of being “big” in a specific field, of enjoying popularity and fame while being at the topmost of your game.

It’s the feeling of contentment that we feel when we’ve done our very best not for our glory, but in honor of the one who created us.