Success: Good success

Instead of the usual Verse of the Day, today we would like to discuss The Word of the Day for June 9, 2017: a simple seven-letter word, ”success.” The term has been individualized and defined and re-defined in countless ways. I recall hearing this definition in the late seventies: “Success is the progressive accomplishment of a worthy goal.”

Nothing succeeds like success, says the familiar slogan; indeed, success breeds success. I also recall this statement by Thomas Edison regarding the word: “Success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration.” In my early collegiate days, I remember a professor remarking that hard work always precedes success. He went on humorously but truthfully to explain that the only place where “success” comes before “work” is in the dictionary.

In one of the first entries posted on my blog, I discussed “success” and its antonym, “failure,” noting how they are connected in this definition which introduces the last stanza of a familiar poem of great inspiration entitled “Don’t Quit.”

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,

As I was thinking about the entire subject of failure and success, another poem came to mind, a very penetrating expression of the view of life through the eyes of the noted 19th Century poet, Emily Dickinson, who wrote these words:

Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.

In response, I wrote this poem to express my view regarding success in light of those who fail to achieve it:

I Have Sipped a Sweetness

Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete,
but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race]

that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours.

25 Now every athlete who goes into training

conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things.

They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither,

but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness]

that cannot wither.

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 (Amplified Bible):


Said the fragile lady who never knew such bliss,
“Success is counted sweetest by those who ne’er succeed.”
In her enigmatic style went on to say this:
“To comprehend a nectar requires sorest need.”
Said the dark poet of another time and place,
I have sipped a sweetness beyond any honey,
The rush in the blood of the one who wins his race,
A foretaste of the glory to come that inspires
Self-discipline to sublimate carnal desires,
Casting aside every weight, each besetting sin,
I press toward the mark, the prize now set before me
And run with patience the race I’m destined to win.
Then shall I know ultimate ecstasy of victory
And savor God’s goodness for all eternity.

The highest degree of success is available to every believer who practices the principles embodied in the Word of God. Success is a personal accomplishment, and God, our Father, is a personal God who desires that each of children of attain their hearts’ desires according to His will. As sons and daughters of God our success hinges upon our commitment and faithfulness to the Word of God. Indeed, we can prosper and attain “good success”, as proclaimed in Joshua 1:8 (NKJV):

8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

We close with a Scripture Memory Song based on Joshua 1:8-9:

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