The Real Definition of Success

The Real Definition of Success Hero Image The Real Definition of Success Hero Image

“I used to live for success and achievement. I was on a dedicated path to a big career,” said Laurice Taylor. “Although the Lord gave me exactly what I wanted, I quickly found myself, alone, overwhelmed, and overworked. I fell into a deep depression and started to have suicidal thoughts. I just wanted to put an end to my misery. The ‘successful’ life I’d fought so hard for wasn’t satisfying at all.

“I became obsessed with success in college. If there was something I wanted, I would do anything to get it. People often described me as ‘driven,’ and my life centered on my own glory. This never struck me as wrong. I simply considered myself assertive and hard-working. When things didn’t turn out well, I felt sorry for myself and for the bad things that were happening, but I couldn’t see how my attitude and choices were the root of the problem.

“I was blessed to grow up with a knowledge of God because I was raised in a Christian school. That’s where I first heard about the Lord.

“God was faithful. He continued to put other believers in my life. He gave me a loving friend who recognized that my greatest need was not academic achievement but a relationship with Jesus. I would often complain to her about the difficult relationships I had and the fact that I never felt loved. Her reply was simple but profound. She reminded me, ‘God loves you.’

“Years later, as I was driving home late from my job, the lie that no one loved me was on repeat in my head. I was at my lowest point. I was suddenly reminded of what my friend said and who truly loves me. This is when the Spirit opened my eyes to the truth. I finally understand the gospel: that God unconditionally loves me so much that he sent His Son, Jesus, to die and rise again to pay for my sins (John 3:16).

“Shortly after, I got down on my knees and said, ‘Lord, I need you. I need you in my life. I need you in my heart. I can’t do this without you.’ I felt like I was pulled out of darkness and into the light (1 Peter 2:9). Before Jesus, I was in such a deep depression that it was like every day was cloudy. It always felt dark, but when the Holy Spirit came into my heart, suddenly everything was in technicolor.

“The first thing I knew I needed to do was find a healthy, biblical community. Because my friend was a member at Watermark, I started attending as well. I jumped into Women’s Bible study and Equipped Disciple. I loved the peace I felt when I was at church, but I felt the Lord telling me to step outside my comfort zone. I felt very strongly that I was being led to serve outside of Watermark.

“I started looking for opportunities and discovered OurCalling, a ministry for the homeless in Dallas. They go out into the community and search for people in need. It reminded me that Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). I was once that lost person. I was the lost sheep He left the 99 to find (Matthew 18:12-14). That is the message I wanted to help other people understand.

“I began to volunteer at OurCalling and fell in love with the folks they serve. I was a volunteer for two years before joining their staff. I now get to go out into the Dallas community every day and get to know our homeless friends. We try to form relationships with people, encourage them to trust Jesus, and help them take the steps necessary to get off of the street. We do this by connecting with intentionality, caring with dignity, and providing a community that has integrity.

“I see the Lord’s faithfulness every day in my job. I must rely on Him alone. I used to think that if I was persistent enough, I could make anything happen. My new job and new heart are different. I work with people who might not be ready to get off the street or who struggle with addiction or severe mental illness. I now realize that I can’t make anything happen. I am constantly aware of how powerless I really am. Only God can change people’s hearts and minds. He just calls me to love them.

“I still struggle with wanting to be in control and idolizing success, but God is teaching me to ask myself, ‘Am I defining success, or is the Lord defining it?’ Success in my old career meant clawing my way to the top to be the best and to bring myself glory. Success in God’s eyes is not about what I want; it’s walking in faithfulness and obedience. The outcome belongs to Him. The Lord reminds me every day that I am not the person I once was. I am a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).”