How to Get Ahead in Life


Does our culture value outward accomplishments over inward character? Is that okay?

I sat in the crowd at Decision Makers  and listened as two successful guys answered questions about priorities, purpose, family and life. A federal judge and a guy whose daily writings are consumed by over 80,000 people.

Do you see what I just did?

I assigned value to these men from the outside. We meet people (or read about them, read what they write, or hear them speak) and we assign them value based on what’s on the outside… on what they do, what they’ve accomplished, their titles, the size of their house, the size of their church, the size of their company, the size of their reputation, the shape and size of their bellies, or how many twitter followers they have. That’s how the world assigns value.

But God assigns value from the inside. Every man has immeasurable value to God, and when a man surrenders to God’s love and God adopts him into His family, that man has been bought with a price. He’s the one lost sheep that’s been found. One out of a hundred. Or in our culture, maybe one out of a thousand.

When I first grasped that I was loved deeply by God and that He wanted to be my Perfect Father, everything changed. What I’m talking about is beyond just being forgiven and accepted.

Believing and knowing that God unconditionally loves me… just as I am… in my humanity… allowed me to move beyond the shame I had buried inside and to forget about the lies I’d believed about myself. I learned that I was truly forgiven and loved from the inside out. I didn’t have to prove anything anymore. Romans 8:1 became real to me… “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” I got a fresh start.

Knowing we’re loved… Knowing we’re going to be cared for regardless of the value the world assigns to us allows us to do our jobs with more confidence and less fear. We have confidence to accept our calling. Make stronger decisions. Stand up for truth. Take more risk.

And do you know what? The world notices that quiet confidence. Strength of character underpins good decisions and the leaders who make them. In a lost and fallen world, leaders who are confident about who they are and what they stand for actually come to be assigned more value than the climbers who are kissing butts, working crazy hours, and frantically trying to get ahead.

One of the guys quoted psychologist Carl Jung….

“The world will ask you who you are, and if you do not know, the world will tell you.”

So maybe the way to increase the value you’re assigned by the world from the outside is to fully accept God’s love and give Him access to what’s on the inside. Pray. Ask, “Jesus, what would you have me do?” And do it. Do the next right thing regardless of the (perceived) consequences.

Character and faith are built simultaneously, as we do the right thing and watch God show up as we do. Over time, who you are on the inside will be reflected on the outside. You’ll be God’s man, inside and out.

Question: Can you trust God enough to be His man “inside” regardless of the value assigned to you “outside”? 


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