Success without Purpose Misses the Point

For this week’s TakeFive, Max Jeganathan is exploring the Scriptural messages that remain countercultural to this day. On day five, Max introduces us to just how mind-blowing and countercultural is the Christian idea of success. The very idea is an intrinsic yearning of the heart but if that yearning comes without understanding why we were made, we are doomed always to miss the point.

Success is a intrinsic yearning of the human heart, we all want to be successful…but when we take a closer look at the concept of success we see that success…doesn’t have any meaning or moral purpose or content unless we actually first think about what someone is successful at.

The problem is that a lot of the people out there who have scaled the heights of achievement…often they’re not successful in the sense of the deepest existential longings of their hearts

[Jesus is saying], “I have a transcendent purpose for you, to be in loving relationship with me, and then to pour out this transcendent supernatural love on the people around you, and on the problems of the world around you.” That’s countercultural success.

Make it Personal

  • What do you think of when you think of success for yourself? Is this in line with God’s purpose and meaning?

  • How might you live out a countercultural success that loves God and love your neighbor?


Great message and a refreshing reminder about our true purpose in life.

I personally struggle with placing too much emphasis on career and academic success. I am prone to thinking that a particular degree, certificate, or job role will leave me fulfilled. However as anyone who has entertained similar views and pursuits can probably testify too, these worldly achievements do not lead to lasting fulfillment. Reminds me of a quote attributed to C.S. Lewis:

“It is not your business to succeed, but to do right. When you have done so the rest lies with God.” ~ C. S. Lewis


Thanks, Max for a simple reminder of what life is all about … finding God’s purpose and gettin’ 'er done (or at least making progress :slightly_smiling_face:).

My parents always pushed me to accomplish, but they also wanted me to enjoy the struggle as well, because they knew the difficulties life had for some. So I went to college, achieved additional degrees, certifications, and they were all good…and helped me to discover important lessons.

So, ultimately, “success is finding God’s will in your life, and failure is being successful at the wrong things!” - Adrian Rogers