ODJ: rejection and success

April 7, 2015 

READ: Genesis 1:26-31 

So God created human beings in his own image (v.27).

My colleagues and I were eating dinner with an author when she posed this question: “What do you like least about your job?” I had been working in publishing for several years, and instantly I knew my answer. “I don’t like crushing people’s dreams,” I said. “I don’t like telling them that their manuscript ‘doesn’t meet our needs.’ ”

Everyone has felt the sting of rejection. Writers understand it better than most. Which brings up another question: why do so many of us write?

In the Bible’s first chapter, God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. . . . So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).

Our creativity shows our likeness to our Creator. We demonstrate it in writing, gardening, art, design, engineering—the possibilities are as diverse as the people on the planet. But our creative ability becomes distorted by our desire to feel important. We assign value to big numbers. Bestsellers mean success. We think that the more people notice us, the more successful we are.

Wrong! As Bear Rinehart of the alternative band Needtobreathe observed, “Needing a purpose is one thing. Needing success is a rotten thing.” And Rinehart’s bandmate Seth Bolt said, “Success comes . . . by having your heart and your motives where they need to be.”

We might think that what we’re seeking is to be successful, but what we really crave is God! He still takes great delight in the crown jewel of His creation (us, made in His image!), and He invites us to give Him our heart and our motives. Success comes by having the right purpose.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day-plan: 2 Samuel 13:1-19

What light does Mark 12:28-34 shed on our priorities? 
In your life, what reminds you that you’re an image bearer of God? How would you finish this statement “My purpose in life is . . . “?