Summary: True success in life is not defined by what we have, but by who we are in Christ.
The Secret Of Success
He's the man with the plan. When he walks into the room hearts race, palms sweat, eyes bulge, and backs straighten. He's the C.E.O., Chairman of the Board, President and General Manager, King of the hill. Top of the heap. Ruler of nations. While the Board sits paralyzed, poised for the royal entourage to make their grand entrance, their hearts beat in their throats as their parched lips part and in unison speak - "Good morning sir." With the precision of the Radio City Rockettes, brief cases are unlocked, opened, and the meeting begins with Mr. Big at the helm. Mr. Big, feared by everyone, catered to by all, speaks:
In this city, I confess, I am driven to possess.
Answer to me, let them guess, are you someone I impress?
I am a big boss with a short fuse.
I have a nylon carpet and rubber shoes.
And when I shake hands you'll get a big shock.
You'll be begging for mercy when the champ is through.
You'd better believe I'll put the clamps on you.
I am a safebox. I am the innersanctum when the door locks.
I own the pass key. You say you can't take it with you.
We'll see about that won't we.
I am an old man and the word came.
But you can't buy time or a good name.
Now when the heirs come around like buzzards on a kill.
I see my reflection in their envious eyes.
I'd watch it all burn for another surprise.
Some men find a fire escape.
Old men learn it all too late.
Push...Push...Push the alarm.
Old McDonald's bought the farm.
(From the song, "What Is The Measure of Your Success?" by Steve Taylor)
The CEO. The man with all of the gold. The young tycoon sees his final days lived as an old buffoon. The best decision maker throughout his life, but when the final grains of sand trickle through the hourglass of life he had made all of the wrong decisions. It appeared that he had made the right investments, his portfolio had swollen, his wealth had mushroomed, yet his life was empty.
The secret of success. The benefits of success are evident, but what about the secrets of success? What about the hidden dangers faced by those who push, push, push and make their way to the top? This morning we are going to come face to face with the stark realities of the secrets of success as we take a look at Solomon's insightful diary. Let's take a look at our Scripture for this morning found in Ecclesiastes 5:8-20.
8If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. 9 The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields. 10 Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. 11 As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? 12 The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. 13 I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, 14 or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him. 15 Naked a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand. 16 This too is a grievous evil: As a man comes, so he departs, and what does he gain, since he toils for the wind? 17 All his days he eats in darkness, with great frustration, affliction and anger. 18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him-for this is his lot. 19Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work-this is a gift of God. 20He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart. (Ecclesiastes 5:8-20 NIV)
The secret of success is seldom discussed. The veneration of the victorious is paraded on the pages of Time, Fortune, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and Money Magazine along with every other information outlet in America, but the real secret of success is kept "hush, hush." Let me take a moment before we begin our study to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with success as long as we avoid the pitfalls that all too often accompany successful. Our attitudes and motivations for doing what we do is ultimately important. I hope that this morning we will examine our commitments and drive to acquire the golden ring.