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EDITOR’S NOTE: While regular Millennial Monday blogger Emily Howsden is away on maternity leave, Millennial Monday will continue as guest bloggers fill in over the next couple of months.

Success, although not typically thought to be, is a controversial term. Success is defined as the satisfactory achievement of a goal. This definition makes it clear that each individual has their own dream and desire to achieve, which means that “success” is different from person-to-person. Success is most generally thought to be wealth and fame but is commonly experienced as something much greater.

To most Christians, success in their walk with the Lord is seeking and following the life He calls them to while studying His word. There are many verses that speak on success and prosperity:

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established” (Prov. 16:3).

“And we know that for those who love God, God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). 

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful 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” (Josh. 1:8).

Although many would say that their desire and goal in life is success through wealth and fame, the greatest joys in life come from happiness and contentment. Greek philosopher Aristotle pointed out that if anyone was asked why they’re doing what they’re doing, their end answer will either be because it makes them happy or because it will lead to happiness. This is a clear representation of the true desires of every heart.

Like many high school seniors, when I graduated, I had hundreds of people ask me about college and my future. The pressure and stress was through the roof, and truthfully, I didn’t even want to go to college. Many people express the need for college to gain success, but that thought process is simply not true. Unfortunately, many kids go to college because of the stress put on them or to simply please their parents.

A degree can provide financial stability and benefit, which can lead to happiness and peace. However, graduating from college does not automatically guarantee such success, and seniors should not be unquestionably expected to go to college straight out of high school.

Society has influenced the mindset of what success is by deeming money the most important thing to acquire. Money provides freedom and the gift of experiences but can also come with the weight of spending it properly.

Fame also brings weight and a strain of living up to the expectations of others. There is responsibility accompanied with money and with fame. Many people in the spotlight for one or both would agree that they might wish that their life would be more ordinary. Their wealth or popularity might not have brought them the joy and peace they would have hoped for. If you ask me, that does not seem worth it.

When thinking of success, financial accomplishment is often thought of first. The idea of success is diverse from person-to-person but will ultimately end with the desire for happiness and peace. The goals and dreams of an individual are found deep within the core of themselves, and that becomes the basis of their personal success. Even with core desires varying with each person, the pressure of success being limited to the idea of having wealth, a nice car and a big house needs to be eliminated.

We, as believers, are not created for this earth. The worldly success gained has no worth when our home is with Christ. When success is looked at and thought of as something deeper and richer than fame and fortune, the perspective changes entirely from material to what’s really important. Family, happiness and the pleasures that Christ brings are of far more worth than money, a college degree or your name in lights.