Insight on the News
What Is Success?
For many people today, getting to the top of the career ladder and attaining wealth and fame spell success and happiness. But does it? Not according to the U.S.News & World Report. It says that this “love affair with success—when pursued with single-minded purpose—could exact a big toll in the form of sickness, career problems, neglected children and broken families.” Dr. Paul Rosch, president of the American Institute of Stress, is quoted as stating that “the pressure to excel is greater than it has ever been,” and many people feel that they must succeed “even if it means crawling over the bodies of co-workers or sacrificing what they really want.” While admitting that not all successful people are thus guilty, the article asserts that many have emotional problems and are not happy. “Authorities agree, true success in life is determined not on the basis of fancy titles or six-figure salaries,” the article concludes.
Those seeking true success and happiness are finding them today, not by trying to get to the top of the career ladder at any price, but by searching for the true God and finding him. As Psalm 144:15 states, “Happy is the people whose God is Jehovah!” The apostle Paul warned against competition, and Jesus said that “there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” (Acts 20:35; Galatians 5:26) Seeking to be successful in God’s eyes by knowing and doing his will, rather than trying to get to the top of this world’s materialistic ladder, brings true and lasting happiness.
‘Forget Doom Warnings’
Jesus said that the people of Noah’s day were destroyed in the Flood because “they took no note” of God’s warning message. Jesus’ famous prophecy on what we could expect to happen at his “presence” and the conclusion of Satan’s system of things (found in Matthew, chapter 24) is an apt description of what we see every day in the world around us. (See also 2 Timothy 3:1-5.) Yet, in spite of these distressing conditions some shut their eyes to the meaning of such events.
For example, in The Hopeful Future, a recent book by G. Harry Stine, he speaks of a bright future where atomic war, pollution and shortages of food or fuel are not to be feared. Mr. Stine apparently looks upon the doomsayer’s scenarios as highly improbable. He confidently holds to such a bright outlook because man has survived previous crises and somehow will survive the present ones.
The Bible shows that there will come a time when there will be no wars, pollution or shortage of food and fuel. But this will not come by man’s efforts for “it does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.” However, Jehovah can and will bring about a peaceful world where Paradise will never end. (Jeremiah 10:23; Isaiah 65:17, 18) The gaining of eternal life in that Paradise amounts to real success and happiness.
“Church Accepts Living in Sin”
That was the headline of a report in London’s Daily Express on a 30-page booklet, Foreword to Marriage, put out by the Church of England. On the subject of premarital sex, the booklet says of many newlyweds at the time of marriage: “There will have been full and free experimentation for some time. Others will have been living together already, and so this experience is nothing new. Or is it?” The newspaper article comments: “That final query is the only suggestion in the 30-page booklet, that sex before marriage may not be an ideal start.” In an interview, the author of the booklet pointed out that the Church neither approves nor disapproves of sexual relations before marriage, and he added: “What we hope is that in relations before marriage there are deep and lasting links being forged rather than just superficial relations.”
How different are God’s moral standards! His Word plainly states: “Flee from fornication.” (1 Corinthians 6:18) It is little wonder that the world’s moral standards are decaying when religious leaders fail to tell the people what God’s requirements are. The Bible clearly says at 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 that those who practice fornication and adultery “will not inherit God’s kingdom.” It is encouraging to know that Jehovah’s Witnesses do not compromise in teaching God’s moral standards and do their best in living up to them.