We all know ambitious individuals who drive themselves. They want success at all costs. We also know people who consider themselves failures, who constantly feel like giving up and are convinced they can never be successful. But what is true success? There is a standard of godly success, given in Scripture—and there are proven principles that can help us achieve success.
Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong called these principles the “Seven Laws of Success.” Applied properly, they can help Christians Youths find true success in life.
What are those laws?
Set the Right Goal
Successful people know that to accomplish anything of value, one needs to set goals. Unless you know where you are going, you will never arrive there! Perhaps you have a specific career in mind. Learn all you can about the career you may be considering. And ask God to guide you.
Remember Jesus Christ’s wonderful promise: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7– 8). And no matter what our short-term goals, we must always pursue them in the context of the right ultimate goal.
A Christian’s ultimate destiny is the Kingdom of God. In order to be successful, we must set goals. And to be a true success—in this life and for eternity—we need to set the right goal!
Educate (or Prepare) Yourself
What knowledge do you need to achieve your goal? What preparations must you make? If you are choosing a career as a craftsman, you will need to work as an apprentice before you can be a journeyman. And many professions require at least a college education, if not an advanced degree. More than ever, we need to increase our knowledge just to keep up with our goals.
As God told the prophet Daniel concerning the end-time: “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase” (Daniel 12:4). One should never stop learning. But make sure that the knowledge you are learning is true knowledge, and not false education.
Scripture teaches us that true knowledge begins with an awe and reverence toward God, and an acknowledgement that He is the source of wisdom and knowledge. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). To reach your goal, you need to educate yourself and prepare to achieve that goal, both physically and spiritually.
Maintain Good Health
How healthy are you? Do you have energy and vigor to work hard? Do you have the well-being to accomplish? Our very environment may be detrimental to our health. We have come to expect pollution in our 21st century. We have polluted our air, water and food. It may be difficult to obtain genuinely organic food and pure drinking water, but we must do the best we can.
You might consider starting your own vegetable garden. Our fast-food, high-fat, high-sugar diet is not the steady diet God intended for humans. In addition to a good diet, regular exercise is important. Still, no matter what our physical limitations, God will provide ways in which we can serve Him, and serve our neighbors, effectively.
Mr. Herbert Armstrong called this an “all-important law.” He wrote: “You will always find that the executive head of any growing, successful organization employs drive. He puts a constant prod on himself. He not only drives himself, he drives those under him, else they might lag, let down and stagnate” Yes, we have to put a prod on ourselves to move.
Scripture provides a graphic illustration. “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard? When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep; so shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man” (Proverbs 6:6–11).
Proper rest is essential, but God warns against being slothful and lazy! We all need energy and purpose. We need to discipline ourselves to work effectively.
Mr. Armstrong called this “the emergency law.” Perhaps the road ahead to your planned career or goal looks clear and smooth. But life often meets us with unexpected obstacles. You may suddenly face a financial problem, or health emergency. What are you going to do?
Always investigate alternatives and options. What resources are available? What agencies or individuals might be of help? Of course, the first step to take in any serious emergency is to ask for God’s help. Remember the time Jesus came walking on the water to His disciples? The Apostle Peter wanted to do the same. So Jesus told Peter: “‘Come.’ And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.
But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, ‘Lord, save me!’” (Matthew 14:29–30).
Ask for wise counsel. “Without counsel, plans go awry, but in the multitude of counselors they are established” (Proverbs 15:22).
Persevere Toward Your Goal
Always have perseverance—-stick-to-it-iveness. During World War II, when the future looked gloomy for Great Britain, Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke on October 29, 1941 at Harrow School. He inspired his audience to persevere. He stated: “Surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense .
Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished.”
Those who respond to God’s calling are in a spiritual race to persevere. Hebrews 11 is called the “faith chapter.” It mentions successful men and women of faith. Chapter 12 encourages us to remember their example, and to look forward to the final goal.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1–2).
Never give up! Run the race of life with perseverance.
Seek God’s Continual Guidance
If you are going to practice the first six laws successfully, you need the vital seventh law. You need to seek God’s continual guidance. Billions of men and women may carnally be practicing some of the first six laws, but unless they seek God’s continual guidance, their efforts are but vanity. You may ask: “How can I have God’s continual guidance?”
The answer is that if God is calling you to understand His truth, you need to respond to that calling and seek Him. As you read your Bible, you will find priceless promises. Isaiah gives the following: “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon” (Isaiah 55:6–7).
As you begin to pray—as you begin to change your whole way of life to God’s way of true success—He will forgive you through the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ. God has promised that He will have mercy on you and pardon you, if you repent and seek Him. God gives us many promises of His continuing and loving guidance.
For example: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5–6). God promises that He will direct your paths, and that He will guide you through life to fulfill your human potential and ultimate destiny. When you come to a crossroads, and are faced with a decision, pray and ask for God’s will to be done in your life.
Finally, what is the right goal of a successful Christian Youth? The right goal is the Kingdom of God! As Jesus said in Matthew 6:33: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”