What happens if we succeed?

The question no one asks


I think life is full of “what if” questions.  What if I lose my job? What if the economy tanks? What if I get sick?  What if my plans don’t work out?  What if I miss my big opportunity?

In fact, much of our culture is driven by these kinds of questions and the fears that cause them.

This is not intended as a political statement, but an observation of reality: I have yet to meet one person who voted for President Trump because they were convinced that he was the best and most qualified presidential candidate and they were excited about the possibility of what his presidency would mean for the United States.

Without fail, every person who has told me that they voted for him has indicated that they were more afraid of the alternative.  So, the question that motivated many of his supporters was, “What if Hillary Clinton becomes president?”

Again, my point is not politics, but the underlying questions that motivate our decisions. 

This is also the motivation behind things like insurance, retirement annuities, and business contracts. We want to be sure we are covered for unplanned contingencies or unforeseen setbacks.

I’m not against any of those things.  In fact, I intentionally participate in them. But what I’m pondering today is a question that rarely gets asked:

What happens if we succeed?

Think about it for a minute. (No, that wasn’t a minute; take a few more seconds). When was the last time you set a goal, made a plan, shared a desire, cast a vision, and actually spent time intentionally considering what would be next if success happened?

We simply don’t ask the question.

Is it because we are deeply convinced that the deck is stacked against us? Or that there is only so much success allowed in the world and it is obviously going to others?  Or that success only comes to those who either have resources beyond ours or who step on others to get it? Or even that God doesn’t want us to have success because we will be less likely to depend on Him?

Or is it that we are using the wrong scorecards to define success?  I certainly don’t have all this figured out, but I think I may be onto something that is worth pursuing.  What if we had some questions to use to help us in this pursuit?

Questions like …

  1. Is success in this possible? If not, maybe our efforts would be better spent elsewhere.
  2. How will we know when we have succeeded? This helps us to make plans and set goals that are specific and measurable.
  3. How will we celebrate the success?  This includes successful steps along the way as well as reaching the ultimate goal. If it’s not worth celebrating, is it worth doing?
  4. How will we reinvest what we have gained? In other words, what’s next?  We have new resources or new learning.  How will we use them as a launching pad?
  5. How does our view of success measure up against God’s view of success? 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 success. (Joshua 1:8)


If it’s not worth celebrating, is it worth doing? Click To Tweet


Our lives matter to God. Our successes are found in His purposes.  How does that help you make your plans?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, argumentative, off-topic, or just plain unhelpful.