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Two Keys To Success

by Greg Baker  
4/14/2010 / Christian Living

Being successful isn't an issue of how intelligent a person is, or even who you know. It is basically the combination of two ingredients:

1. Knowledge
2. And the character to implement that knowledge

Take the average marriage, for instance. The failure rate versus the success rate in marriages is about equal. There is basically one success per failure in marriage. Yet the average couple enters marriage completely ignorant of how to achieve success. They have no idea how to build a successful marriage. God bemoans this terrible fact in Hosea 4:6 when He says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, because they have rejected knowledge"

The same people will go to school somewhere between 4 to 12 years to prepare for a lifelong career, but they spend little or no time to gain the knowledge of how to have a successful marriage. It is often the lack of knowledge that destroys relationships.

In the terminology of the internet, this concept is referred to as your 'niche'. A niche is your area of expertise upon which you build your internet presence. If you choose an area you know nothing about, you are pretty much doomed to fail. To be successful, you need to be in the know. You need knowledge.

Many parents fail for similar reasons. They know next to nothing about childrearing. The average parent figures that if he or she can get their children to adulthood without being embarrassed too much, then they are successful parents. But how many children entering adulthood fail because they have no idea how to function in the real world? Too many. They were not equipped with the right knowledge to succeed.

But that is only part of the equation. Knowing what to do is only half of the battle. The other part is to have the character to implement it. For the purpose of this article, we will define character as the will and discipline to be consistent in the application of the knowledge possessed.

Without this character, we are still doomed to fail. The majority of addicts know that their addiction is unhealthy and damaging to them. They know they need to stop, but they lack the strength of character to consistently act upon that knowledge. They lack the will to pitch the habit.

In my marital counseling I'll frequently give couples things to do that will help promote a healthy marriage. They easily buy into the knowledge and wisdom given them, but the next time we meet they admit they failed, all too often, to implement even a single suggestion. They give excuses as to why they could not. This is nothing less than lack of character.

Good character overcomes excuses. Neither is it derailed by opposition. Yet our society is very much devoid of character. We pander to our children to such an extent that they enter adulthood thinking that life ought to treat them as their parents do or did. They got away with everything, practically, growing up. So they expect that same treatment from society. Their first encounter with a police officer is often an eye opener.

Too often, I find myself having to build the character of people before I can help them be successful as a husband, wife, parent, citizen, or an employee.

The Scriptures do not use the word 'character'. Instead it uses the word 'faithfulness'. The concepts are very similar. Notice this verse: Proverbs 28:20 "A faithful man shall abound with blessings" This is that same concept of the will and discipline to be consistent. This is good character.

Add knowledge to good character and you have a recipe for successevery time.

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