How do you respond when someone you know wins big? Maybe they earned that degree, got that promotion, closed that deal, or got their work published? If you are in the church world like me, maybe they successfully launched another campus, added some amazing staff, baptized 10, 50 or 100 people last month, or raised a million dollars for missions? All of these should make us want to throw them a party! However, sometimes other emotions are stirred.
Maybe we feel we have worked harder for longer? Perhaps we feel overlooked and under-appreciated? Admit it. We’ve all felt this way even if for only a few fleeting moments. When we do, it’s our cue to hit our knees and check pride at the door. How should we respond?
Here are 4 Responses to Other’s Successes…
1) Celebrate. Knowing how hard it is to achieve something significant yourself, celebrate their win! Congratulate them in person, on social media, or send them a hand-written letter. Take the time to tell them just how much you admire their dedication and what specifically you appreciate about their success.
2) Motivate. Use the positive energy created by someone’s achievement as motivation to keep striving in your own life, family, church or business. Don’t give up! Someone has said, “If God calls you to it, He’ll see you through it.” Who you are and what you do matters and you are closer to breaking through than you know!
3) Question. The question isn’t, “How did they get so lucky?!” The question is, “How did they get it done?” You are likely to find some of the same common denominators that will equate to your own win in time… things like the grace of God, a great team, hard work, courageous creativity, and perseverance. Find out what you can learn from their success and especially their failures along the way.
4) Challenge. More than motivation to just “keep on keeping on…” take their win as a personal challenge to not only do better, but to BE better. Humble yourself. We never arrive. Put it all back on the drawing board if you have to. Gather some honest and experienced voices who will help you see what you can’t and say what you need to hear about yourself and/or that thing you do. Then, pray for the grace to be better. And, don’t be afraid to do things a little (or a lot!) different. Maybe you need to go in a different direction altogether?
Much of what you do as a servant leader will be overlooked and unsung while others get standing ovations and the promotions to go with them. Do it anyway. Your kindness and compassion won’t always put you in the front of the line. Be it anyway.
Remember Jesus’ parable of the talents? This is what we should all be striving for… “‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Matthew 25:23, NIV)
How do you celebrate the success of others? Share your thoughts below in the Reply section…
Best advice… Do Something! Don’t let others success hinder your ability to do great things. And everyone’s great things are not the same. Ours may be small compared to another, but may be great for that one person touched. Do Something!
Great advice, Ted. Comparison is the killer of creativity as God moves through us to touch the lives of others.
In church work, as in the secular world, we are pushed to think of ourselves as individual competitors, thinking in terms of winning and losing. An illustration of that “stinkin thinkin” is the story of the pastor’s annual report to the congregation. “It is true we lost a few families this year, and our giving was down about 20%, and sadly, we only baptized one person this year. The only good news is that the Baptist church down the street did even worse!” One of the things I admire about the recent UK Men’s Basketball team was the apparent genuine sense of “team spirit”, not resenting other players when they are having a good game, and enjoying the wins as a team, and not as a bunch of individual stars. When I was a young pastor, struggling in a very small congregation, I experienced the pain of comparisons–sadly coming to dread the minister’s meetings once a year, for I felt like a failure compared to the “big guys.” Hope no body else ever has that experience. Blessings.
Good thoughts, LC. May we stay faithful to who & what God has called us to be.