Failure Disguised as Success

Mark 12:41-44 “And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”

Matthew 6:5 “And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

While there may be some; I believe for the most part, everybody would like to consider themselves a success. What is true secularly is especially true spiritually! I can’t imagine one child of God that does not want to hear his Lord say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). If one is to hear “Well done”; it is necessary to know that some failures can be disguised as successes. Within our text, Jesus magnified three spiritual principles of failure. Failure occurs when you gave much and you could have given more! Jesus watched as the rich cast in much with respect to monetary wealth, the widow cast in more because she had nothing left when she had finished with her offering. While it would be easy to apply this principle only to money, it applies to every aspect of our lives; time, talents, and treasures! Failure occurs when your actions are recognized by men and not the Master. A careful rendering of the text will reveal that only the actions of the widow gained the attention of the Master. That day, most would have been happy if that poor widow had just kept what she had and stayed at home, but not the Master. His heart was stirred by the sacrificial actions of one that no one else saw. Failure occurs when your reward is earthly and not eternal. In Matthew 6, Jesus tells about the rewards of giving alms, praying, and fasting; there are the rewards of men which is earthly and the rewards of God which is eternal. The question is; how does one determine which one he will receive? Erwin Lutzer said, “We are rewarded by the person whose praise we seek.” It’s all about motive; whose praise do you seek? When considering these spiritual principles; are your failures disguised as successes, or will you hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”