BILL O’REILLY AND THE MEASURE OF TRUE SUCCESS

2013-08-12 13.21.22Bill O’Reilly invites his audience to enter the “no spin zone” each night.  But evidently something has run amuck.   He recently opined, “Oprah Winfrey is the most successful woman in America.”  Clearly, anyone worth 3 billion dollars has fared well.  It didn’t happen by accident and she is obviously a savvy businesswoman.  But one wonders why O’Reilly’s statement went unnoticed and unchallenged.

Built into O’Reilly’s assertion is the notion that success is directly tied to wealth. But I’m wondering, since when does net worth define the success of an individual?  A corporation may have a bulging bank account but oppresses people with unfair business practices or even peddles a product that destroys people.  A king may enjoy riches that defy the imagination yet that individual may mistreat his subjects or rule them with an iron fist.  An athlete may ink a contract worth millions but disappoint thousands of young people with unethical behavior.  So clearly finances don’t guarantee true success.

What is troubling about O’Reilly’s assertion is that he is not alone.  In fact, this worldview has a stranglehold on American culture. Multitudes of  people in America equate success with money, especially young people.  Ask any high school graduate what they plan to do for a career.  Then pose the big question:  Why do you intend to become a ____________________?  The answer will oftentimes be linked with money.

St. Paul offers a radical worldview that runs counter to the typical American mindset: “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.  It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:9-10, ESV).

King Solomon understood the reality of God’s economy and recognized that financial prosperity does not constitute success  in the final analysis: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Proverbs 22:1).  Indeed, personal integrity and honesty are at the core of anyone who seeks to be truly successful.

The prophet Micah describes what matters to God at the end of the day and defines a person in whom God delights: “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, ESV).

If net worth is the barometer of true success, then missionaries, social workers, and school teachers are dismal failures.  But we know better.  So we celebrate men and women who put Christ at the center by serving people, helping people, and loving people.  We celebrate people like William Carey who gave his life for India.  We celebrate with Hudson Taylor who lost everything for the sake of China.  We celebrate with Jim Elliot  and Nate Saint who died for a Godward cause.   We celebrate with people who adopt children so one less child goes to bed hungry and enjoys the embrace of a loving parent.

My good friend in Belarus once remarked, “The only thing that matters in the final analysis is friendship with God and friendship with people.”  Success is not defined by portfolios or a curriculum vitae. Success is not defined by real estate or luxury yachts.  The measure of true success is a matter of the heart.  The measure of true success finds its origin in a love for God and a love for people.

Jesus provides the framework for pleasing God when he challenged the religious zealots of the day: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, ESV).  He continues, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39, ESV).  So the measure of true success is not found in a financial ledger.

Jim Elliot understood the measure of true success.  He understood what truly mattered in God’s economy.   Seven years before he was brutally killed by the people he sought to reach with the gospel, he wrote: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”  Elliot recognized the supreme importance of living according to God’s Word which contains a life-changing promise:  “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 good success.” (Joshua 1:8, ESV).    The measure of true success comes as we yield our lives to Christ in obedience and give of ourselves to serving people.

Advertisements

One thought on “BILL O’REILLY AND THE MEASURE OF TRUE SUCCESS

  1. Pastor Dave,

    O’Reilly’s assessment of Oprah’s “most successful woman in America” status most likely was referring to her business acumen and financial achievements, however, she could easily be considered (by worldly standards) to also possess the measures of success you mention… namely, integrity- honesty- to do justice- to love kindness. Oprah could even be perceived as one who gives of herself to others both personally and financially.

    Where both O’Reilly and Oprah err, in my opinion, is that they walk ‘humbly’ as their own god not with God. They are lost spiritually although they both profess their “faith”. Wealth gives both a platform to be heard and have influence. Unfortunately, wealth is also the language many from the “church” use to speak of as the measure of God’s favor.

    Heaven help us! We the church have corporately sent the wrong message to the world and have spread contempt of God. May we humbly seek him in obedience to his word alone, and by his grace alone live as broken bread and poured out wine spent for his glory alone.

    For Truth,

    Toni Burton

    By your Aug 16, 2013 at 4:00 AM, Veritas et Lux wrote:

    > ** > davidsteele1966 posted: “Bill O’Reilly invites his audience to enter > the “no spin zone” each night. But evidently something has run amuck. He > recently opined, “Oprah Winfrey is the most successful woman in America.” > Clearly, anyone worth 3 billion dollars has fared well. It ” Respond > to this post by replying above this line > New post on *Veritas et Lux* > BILL > OREILLY AND THE MEASURE OF TRUE SUCCESSby > davidsteele1966 > > [image: 2013-08-12 13.21.22]Bill > O’Reilly invites his audience to enter the “no spin zone” each night. But > evidently something has run amuck. He recently opined, “Oprah Winfrey is > the most successful woman in America.” Clearly, anyone worth 3 billion > dollars has fared well. It didn’t happen by accident and she is obviously > a savvy businesswoman. But one wonders why O’Reilly’s statement went > unnoticed and unchallenged. > > Built into O’Reilly’s assertion is the notion that success is directly > tied to wealth. But I’m wondering, *since when does net worth define the > success of an individual?* A corporation may have a bulging bank account > but oppresses people with unfair business practices or even peddles a > product that destroys people. A king may enjoy riches that defy the > imagination yet that individual may mistreat his subjects or rule them with > an iron fist. An athlete may ink a contract worth millions but disappoint > thousands of young people with unethical behavior. So clearly finances > don’t guarantee true success. > > What is troubling about O’Reilly’s assertion is that he is not alone. In > fact, this worldview has a stranglehold on American culture. Multitudes of > people in America equate success with money, especially young people. Ask > any high school graduate what they plan to do for a career. Then pose the > big question: *Why do you intend to become a *____________________? The > answer will oftentimes be linked with money. > > St. Paul offers a radical worldview that runs counter to the typical > American mindset: “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, > into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people > into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds > of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the > faith and pierced themselves with many pangs” (1 Timothy 6:9-10, ESV). > > King Solomon understood the reality of God’s economy and recognized that > financial prosperity does not constitute success in the final analysis: “A > good name is to be chosen rather than great riches” (Proverbs 22:1). > Indeed, personal integrity and honesty are at the core of anyone who seeks > to be truly successful. > > The prophet Micah describes what matters to God at the end of the day and > defines a person in whom God delights: “He has told you, O man, what is > good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love > kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8, ESV). > > If *net worth* is the barometer of true success, then missionaries, > social workers, and school teachers are dismal failures. But we know > better. So we celebrate men and women who put Christ at the center by > serving people, helping people, and loving people. We celebrate people > like William Carey who gave his life for India. We celebrate with Hudson > Taylor who lost everything for the sake of China. We celebrate with Jim > Elliot and Nate Saint who died for a Godward cause. We celebrate with > people who adopt children so one less child goes to bed hungry and enjoys > the embrace of a loving parent. > > My good friend in Belarus once remarked, “The only thing that matters in > the final analysis is friendship with God and friendship with people.” > Success is not defined by portfolios or a curriculum vitae. Success is not > defined by real estate or luxury yachts. The measure of true success is a > matter of the heart. The measure of true success finds its origin in a > love for God and a love for people. > > Jesus provides the framework for pleasing God when he challenged the > religious zealots of the day: “You shall love the Lord your God with all > your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, > ESV). He continues, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew > 22:39, ESV). So the measure of true success is not found in a financial > ledger. Jim Elliot understood the measure of true success. He understood > what truly mattered in God’s economy. Seven years before he was brutally > killed by the peop

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s