The Altar of Success

To all people raised to be a success in a Western capitalist society:

Have you sacrificed all on the altar of success? Since preschool, society has pushed you to excel, to rise above your peers. You were groomed for success, to get into the best universities and snatch the most prized careers. Well, it is nice to have confidence, to fulfill your dreams, and have a sense of satisfaction in your chosen field of work but that will not make you happy. Just take a look at the generations that have gone before you. The all too common mid-life crisis is a testament to the failure of a life focused on career advancement to the exclusion of family. Men and women bemoan the fact that they did not have time for nurturing and loving their spouse or children.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” [1 Peter 4:8]

All too often, family life crumbles to ashes, sacrificed on the altar of success.

As for childcare, society relegates this arrangement to women who are often treated as second class citizens. I want to yell out as loudly as I can that raising children is definitely not a default chore for women who were not successful in the world of business, power and wealth. Exactly how you, the next generation, love and form your children will directly influence the kind of society that they in turn create.

Do you want a world focused only on success and the ruthless accumulation of wealth?


When a person blindly follows the dictates of a capitalistic society to become a personal success, his focus becomes egocentric, and not on God, family or community.

What will you focus on as you embark on the rest of your life? Do you set your heart simply on the accumulation of wealth and success or will you live out true Christian social principles, and consider the universal destination of goods? Will you create a race of humans who are becoming increasingly shallow, cold and cynical about relationships, family and love? Do you want your offspring to be more comfortable texting you, their parents, than speaking with you face to face in a warm, loving way because it is more cost effective way of passing on information?

Family is crucial. It is the foundation of society. I am pleased that my adult children, raised on a farm with little technology, are completely modern. Yet, they are open to life and family. They are beginning to grasp how important their own young families are.

Just after his daughter’s birth, my son turned to his dad and said, “Dad, I think that this is the best thing that I have ever done in my life.”

And , a year later, as his little daughter lay sleeping on his chest, Daniel said, ”Now I know why you and Dad had so many kids.”

Can you imagine that if you put family first before your success, your kids will be healed by love, and set free to serve the world in and through Love? It would be heaven on earth. It would be the beginning of a revolution that would change the face of the earth. In doing so, I assure you, you will be happier, more content, and live longer, if you treasure family more than money and success.

You are one deep thinking lady… that is really good…
are you asking what is the measure of your success ?
well once it was wealthy of the monetary kind… made a lot of money once…
but then lost twice as much because I trusted people… I was not selfish enough …
but now, after such a loss,I have grown up and am wiser … well think I am…lol
and now place wealth in things which are not of the monetary kind…
and because of that change of attitude … I now have more wealth than ever before…
and it’s still not of the monetary kind… but also own a house 100% again as well…
I am truly blessed…

I don’t think that financial success and family life are incompatible.

Interestingly, most of the families with many children that we know ARE financially well-off. The husband makes a good living as a doctor, lawyer, or in his own business, while the wife is able to stay home and raise the large family of children without having to worry about where the next meal is coming from.

If a person begins planning, with the help of their parents and other wise adults, when they are young, works hard in school, makes wise life decisions (e.g., not getting pregnant out of wedlock during the teen years, or not getting in credit card debt during college), chooses a career that will actually provide a stable and adequate income, and prepares for that career through college, trade school, or the military, what is wrong with that? That’s not “sacrificing all on the altar of success.” It’s wise planning that will enable a person to choose to have a family and provide for them.

Not everyone is capable of living a farm life. Although I come from a long line of Illinois farmers and my brother still farms, I wouldn’t have a clue about growing anything. To give you an idea of how bad I am with green things–I planted hostas this summer, and they all died within a few weeks. Everyone says that hostas are indestructible, but I managed to kill 'em anyway.

Also keep in mind that not everyone is capable of living while surrounded by many children. Raising children is difficult. It’s emotionally and physically exhausting, and not everyone has that kind of emotional and physical strength. It’s best to have the number of children that God intends for you to have.

And frankly, I think that anyone who owns farmland IS financially successful. Land is as valuable as gold in the U.S. We know a lot of “wealthy” former farmers who sold their land to developers.

Phil Marinus - God is good, isn’t he?

Cat - of course i agree with everything you are expressing- I am not speaking about financial status, where a person lives or how many kids they have, I am talking about our hearts, our hearts’ desire and what drives us.

It is the intent, the inner drive to sacrifice everything to succeed that is off kilter as a Christian
(we rented the farm, although, as a result of some inherited money, we managed to buy and old house on 7 acres three years ago.)

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