Success increases influence

Influence is the capacity to impact, shape, and govern the behavior of someone or something. This power affects people, communities, cultures, and systems. It occurs directly or indirectly, rapidly spreading through the media.

Success and influence are deeply related. The book of Ecclesiastes tells a story of a man who used his wisdom to save a city. Though he was full of wisdom and potential, he was also very broke, for this, he was regarded as unworthy. And instead of being honored for his work, he was dismissed [1].

So even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long.
Ecclesiastes 9:16 NLT

Wisdom is more than being wise

This story helps me to understand two things: (1) wisdom alone is powerful, but (2) wisdom with wealth is more impressive. And thinking that wisdom alone will automatically grant me access to every opportunity is naive.

Like the poor man from the story, people will use your raw talent, with or without you proving much success, but are more likely to listen to you, develop you, promote you, and pay you when you’ve proved successful.

Furthermore, if you say you have wisdom without success, then you should really question what you think wisdom is.

Real wisdom will leave her footprint on your life as success.

We see this in Proverbs 3:16, here wisdom is personified as a woman – influence and success  [riches and honor] are two of the things she produces.

She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left.
Proverbs 3:16 NLT
Success is success, not secular

To wrap this all up, success is necessary to obtain influence and influence is required to shape culture. God wants to make you successful so that you can adequately fulfill The Great Commission [2].

It’s rare that people solicit advice from someone that’s losing in life. Sorry, I’m not sorry for telling you the truth. I’m also not sorry for telling you that God wants you to have secular success. Some may argue, God takes the foolish things of the world to make His power known in the earth [3]. And He does, but He does this by taking senseless things and making them complete [mature, whole, successful]. 

Remember, while God wants you to be a success, your success story is unique. God didn’t use a cookie-cutter to create you and neither does He use a single formula to set or measure your achievements. And He absolutely isn’t setting you up to compete with others – do what I do and compete with yourself.

Check out Purpose VS. Ambition for a fresh perspective on success and catch up on the rest of the Success Series below:


  1. Ecclesiastes 9:13-16
  2. Matthew 28:18-20
  3. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Featured Photo by Kim Carpenter on Unsplash

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