However, there are times when we evaluate what we have achieved and it does not seem to amount to much, and that can be very discouraging, to the point that it is easy to think 'why bother'. That feeling can be very real but it is not what God wants us to think. This is where I find Bible stories so helpful - think Joseph's 'lost' years as a slave and in jail; Job's loss of everything then topped with negative, unhelpful 'friends'. Habakkuk summed it up in chapter 3 :17ff "Though the fig tree does not blossom........ yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will exult in the God of my salvation. God the Lord is my strength."
Recently I was speaking with a friend who said that she is not comfortable seeking out people to talk about God, and knowing that feeling, I gave her a hug and said 'just love people'. How much better is your day if someone has been actively friendly towards you? A smile, a greeting, a hug goes such a long way. I can recall three churches I have attended where no-one has introduced themselves or made any attempt to make me feel welcome. That should never happen in a Christian gathering, yet it is all too common. I had to smile - a lady ( 60 years of age) I met said she and her son ( 30) attended a local church and everyone was interested in him and completely ignored her - she didn't return. ( the more mature are often invisible!)
All through the Bible we read of a loving God - I love the phrase 'steadfast love' and Jesus' new commandment was to 'love one another'. I recently read "What will bring truth and fellowship is not the best argument or most forceful presentation but the simple expression of Godly love."
So how do we evaluate our success in life? There is nothing wrong with doing a personal 'stocktake' but loving others is our first priority. Everything we do should be done in love and to glorify God. Some achieve great things in this life while others don't get much of a mention, but love must be our priority.That is success!