Glorifying God Through Success

I write my Pastor’s Corners in advance. When I get an idea, I write a Corner based on it, and each week I choose one from the set of Corners I have written. I currently have 40 Corners written. The following is one of the oldest ones. The events described occurred a long time ago but the message is still relevant.

Someone recently posted an interview with Jin Soo Lee that appeared in a Korean journal. He served as a Shepherd at our church before he went to Korea to become the hospital director of the Korean National Cancer Research Center. The interviewer marveled at his decision to leave M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, arguably the best cancer research center in the world, to take the position in Korea, taking a pay cut and leaving his children in the U.S.

He said, ‘We all have a role to play in life. I believe that God designates a role for each person in this world. I have tried to play my part as faithfully as possible. I went to medical school to play my part and became a doctor. I decided to accept the invitation to become the hospital director because I believe that it is the part God wants me to play. It’s really not a big deal.”

I was so proud that he spoke out of his Christian convictions.

A while ago I was invited to the farewell party for our Deacon, Jae Ro, who was retiring after a long tenure at M.D. Anderson. It was a big event and the toastmaster was a well-known anchorwoman for the local ABC affiliate. Several other retirees were honored the same evening. During the ceremony, each retiree was given a few minutes to speak. Each expressed their gratitude to the institution, their friends and their families. But Dr. Ro’s speech was different. He gave the credit for his accomplishments to God and thanked Him profusely.

I was so proud to see him openly giving honor to God.

People are attracted to success. This is why I want Christians to become successful. When they succeed, people pay attention to what they say. By success I don’t mean being rich or famous. I mean excelling in what they do, whatever that is. If they work for a corporation, I want them to become indispensable to the company. If they run a business, whether it’s large or small, I want them to prosper. If they are parents, I want them to raise godly children. If they are students, I want them to get good grades. When they are successful in what they do, they have something to say to non-believers and are able to get them interested in God.

However, success can honor God only when it is the result of obedience to Him. If success is obtained by worldly means, it dishonors God. It is only when non-believers recognize that a person’s success was due to God that they become interested in knowing God.

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