• Jon Forrest

failure and success

The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

Failure and Success

Very few people have a formula for success, but there are numerous formulas for failure. One formula for failure is the one in our photo:


1. Blame all your problems on others.

2. Complain about everything.

3. Not be grateful.

When we are constantly passing the buck to others for our problems we never learn from our mistakes. As a result, we never grow, nor do we improve anything. Why should we grow or change, if it was someone else’s fault. Integrity accepts the blame, even when someone else has let us down. There is no true personal benefit that comes from blaming others. Don’t you know that everyone else sees it when we do? The only ones we fool is ourselves. Such activity causes a sense of mistrust from people who see us pass the buck.

Complaining about our problems, other people or negative circumstances repairs nothing. What fixes things is determining we will take it upon ourselves to upgrade the situation. When the situation is intolerable we must do our best to make it tolerable, and eventually excellent.

A post turtle is the person who is ungrateful. If a turtle finds himself on a post, it is obvious that he didn’t get there by his own merits. Someone else put him there. And, if we are not grateful to God and others who have contributed to our lives, we will never find success. Even success will feel like failure. Have you ever heard someone say, “He’s a lawsuit waiting to happen?” This is the individual of whom they speak.”

Now that we have observed a formula for failure and how it works, let’s look at a powerful formula for real success. That formula comes in doing the will of God with our entire beings. Paul gives us a formula that I believe is the absolute opposite of the previous formula for failure. He writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18,

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Notice the adverbs describing the verbs here; always, continually and in all circumstances. When should you rejoice? When should you pray? When should you give thanks? The answer is “ALL THE TIME!”

Think of the positive vibe you get from the person who is always rejoicing, praying and being thankful for everything? Think of how much fun it is to be with the person who lives by this code. When you meet someone who lives this way, you don’t want to leave them behind. And you can’t wait until you see them again. This is the person with whom and for whom you dream about working or serving. The individual like this is filled with encouragement. They live to build up the life of another. When someone is like this, even the most difficult of circumstances is perceived as success. The rest of us can’t wait to leap aboard his/her bandwagon.

The reason for this person’s success is simple. It is described in the 18th verse, “for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

When we are living in God’s will success will be the ultimate result.

This Sunday we will re-start our series titled SHAKE THE WORLD, based on the Thessalonians church as described in Acts 17:1-9 and the two letters Paul wrote to the Thessalonian church which he had started. This week’s message is Doing God’s Will Shakes Your World! Based on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Come and see what power, doing God’s expressed will, wields in our personal lives and in the world around us.

Seeking success for and with you,


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