Good Success Vs. Success: What's The Difference?

I have personally never met someone who was not aspiring to become successful in whatever they do. In speaking with young people, asking them what do they want to do with their lives, they all want success. Even if they are not in pursuit of a specific career path as yet. Drake said it best,"I just want to be successful," in his popular hit song; Successful. The chorus spoke to the very core ambition of my generation. We want to have things and to do anything to look or feel as if we have made it.

The thing is we have often misjudged and misunderstood as believers what success actually is and what it should look like for someone patenting their life after God. The world has given us a definition of success accompanied by quotes, Pinterest photos, people doing it for the gram and a whole lot of visuals and mantras to follow. Quite frankly, if I'm honest with you, before really studying the scriptures I was of the persuasion that success is success. But there is a difference, a major difference and  for word count sake I'm just going to point out four of them here.

1. Good Success is God given and Success is self driven. 

When I think of the definition of success, I'm to challenge the most clever definition ever given by Earl Nightingale that says, "Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal." Until I knew better this was the definition of success that I lived by. But as we examine closely, this objects from the definition of Good Success. In Joshua 1:8, the Bible commands us to meditate on the word of God and put in into practice to ensure our success. So many other references align to this scripture and the sum total I gathered from them is that, Good Success is a reward for obedience to God. The world has taught us to pursue goals, dreams and visions and we will have what appears to be success. However, God has commanded us that once we obey His will for our lives He would happily give it to us. 



2.  Good Success is about who's looking but Success is about how it looks. 

Good Success is a reward for obedience to God. God, all throughout the Bible and all throughout time, has rewarded His people for their obedience. When we follow His will and plan for our lives things are sure to be well with us. So many times throughout scripture men who did not appear successful in the eyes of society, but were obedient to God were advanced tremendously and used to show forth His glory. We have seen this played out in the lives of Moses, Noah, Abraham, Daniel, David, Ester, Nehemiah, Joseph, Jesus and His disciple. When you take your eyes off of society and place it on God, you are ensured Good Success. On the other hand, success seems to be a perception of our accumulation of things and accomplishments. When we have achieved enough or accomplished enough in the sight of men, we are seen as successful. It's why we live comparison led lives and it drives us to toil, because when it comes to success it has to look a certain way to be success. The people of Noah's day thought he had lost his mind and he was socially shunned upon. But when the flood came he and his family were the only ones who had good success. David was counted out by his family because by the looks of it, he was not considered to be king of a nation. But David, who was a man after God's own heart would rise from that obscure opinion to be a great warrior and king. When it comes to real Success its nothing like when God establishes you. If you are giving your best effort, living according to His plan, and seeking Him daily, you will be rewarded openly. 



 3. Good Success is about favor and Success is about labor.

 Whenever we think about Success we think about hustling, working hard, grind mode and doing what it takes to gain money, notoriety and to be on top. With this mantra, Good Success compared to the world system may seem weird. It goes against the grain because it requires not just a physical effort but its also a lesson in faith.

Adam and Eve, in the beginning were given a good thing. Everything was in a perfect, untampered state, and when God made them, He saw that they were good (Genesis 1:31). Adam worked, because work is a God given thing. He did not toil. There is a difference. As long as they were obedient to God and did not eat from the forbidden tree, they were given Good Success and had 100% favor with God. It was only when man was cursed, the toil began

As long as we are obedient to God He will give us things we need and want in His timing. One day of His favor is worth more than 1,000 days of our labor. People always talk about the secrets of Success but the number one secret is just obedience to God and you will always have an unfair advantage (Supernatural Favor). 


4. Good Success is eternal and Success has limits. 

The best thing about Good Success is that we have it now and we can have it later. Success that everyone pursues, along with its material possessions and accolades are limited to this life only. I read an article the other day about a man who buried with his $310,000 Bentley so he can use it in his afterlife. Lol! I thought that was funny. Unfortunately, no one told him his success is only limited to here. 

Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived reminds me of a lot of successful people who were not able to fill life's void with things. In the opening of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, I can imagine, surrounded by extreme wealth and everything a man would ever want sums it all up by saying "everything is meaningless, a chasing after the wind." Jesus said "What Good is it for a man to gain the whole world and lose His one soul?" Mark 16:26 . The rich young ruler was the perfect example of someone who had it all but became saddened when he realized his success was limited. He was not willing to make the exchange or a more long term investment into his eternity. 



In conclusion, Good Success is something that is not talked about often, but it's God's original intent for our lives. He made everything good and He wants you to partake in it. God wants you to have the best here and now. He wants you to share in what He has already created and stored for you. He wants you to share in that success here and eternally. So it's important that in all our work, effort and pursuit, we understand the proper context so we can be guided accordingly.  Like what I opened up with, everyone wants success but why not pursue the better version of it. 


Thank you, so much for taking the time to read this blog post. We are always looking forward to sharing awesome content with you. This month we will love  your support for a movement. You can support by grabbing a Good Success tee and sharing the article online if this has been a blessing to you.



Shaquille " Young Rev" Hanna

An entrepreneur, youth leader, speaker, blogger, and music artist. Young Rev is a media enthusiast resourcing every medium to Change the Culture for the kingdom. Check out his Soundcloud, Instagram, and Facebook page to stay in touch with him.  



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  • Thank you, for this post. We used this verse for our bible study and we tackled your points. Thank you for sharing!!!!

  • Thank you so much I discovered that you can be successful in any other way but is the success that come in obedience to God that helps you. Happy Sunday

  • Exegetical refreshing.thanks

    Ogor Solomon
  • I’m so much encouraged about the understanding of the life of successful men, and I prayed for those that believe in obedience and rules given to you when you know your blessing is close to you


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