You are successful because of who you are in Christ. You please God by obeying him, not performing up to your personal expectations.
It reminded me of my confirmation verse:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
I recently told our Crossroads youth the story behind my confirmation verse. The short version, in bullet format:
- I chose the verse in 8th grade because I had to choose one to get confirmed. I don’t remember caring about it then.
- Eight years later, it just so happened that the assigned reading from the lectionary for the week I was installed as DCE at my first congregation was John 15:5.
- Five years later, it was the appointed reading for the Sunday I was installed at my second congregation.
- A year and a half later, I wised up and suggested it as the text for my installation at First Trinity.
It’s been a great reminder to me that my success in ministry is not dependent on how, but who. It’s found in staying connected to Jesus, the vine–not how well I teach, lead, plan or play. As the old adage goes, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”