Matthew 23:11-12, NIV: The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Surely, by now, we have all heard that what the world says makes a person a success in life, is not truly what makes a person a success. The most money, the nicest job, the biggest house, and the largest banking account do not impress our Lord. After all, we are more interested in how God views success over what the world tells us—right? The Bible tells us that the pursuit of such things will come to nothing; it is vanity—a chasing after the wind. In Matthew 6, Jesus instructs us as to what is worth seeking, and that being the righteousness of God. It is not the world, or us, or even the church that defines success, but God alone. In seeking God first, we learn to define success even as God does. Even within the church there are various ideals of what success looks like. Such ideals have often turned Christians to pursue religion ahead of Jesus. This sometimes leads Christians to seek to become people who are looked up to. But power, prestige, and self-importance have no place in God’s church. It is not, nor ever will be, those who are exalted by the world, or the church, or themselves who are successful—but those who are first and foremost servants to all.