November 30

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The Three Principles for Success

By Craig Smith

November 30, 2020


From Lessons Learned Under a Story Tree, To a Life of Living for God.

We have lived on thirty beautiful acres in Northwestern Arkansas since 1985. In an open field is a large Bois D’Arc tree, also called an Osage Orange tree. Our family calls it The Story Tree. It’s old, gnarly, and thorny, but a number of years ago my grandson and I would walk or ride a four-wheeler from the house to the field where the tree stands. Sometimes my wife would pack us a little snack and we would head to the tree; almost every time my grandson would ask me to tell him a story and I would gladly oblige- and so The Story Tree was born. The stories were often made up on the spot, contained local animals as characters, and always taught some good character qualities for my grandson to pursue.

My goal was to enjoy a healthy grandfather-grandson relationship, and hopefully along the way, sow some thoughts of good character to take root in his heart as he grew up.

The Three Principles for Success

There are three main principles I hope are always genuine and alive within me. They pave the way for a successful and fulfilling life. You may not be a child sitting under our old Story Tree, but your life can still be changed by the principles I shared with my grandson.

They are:

  1. Genuinely love God and make him the priority of your life.
  2. Trust in him because he is the only one who has a record of never failing or disappointing you.
  3. Be encouraged by God’s promise to never leave you or forsake you.

Though humanity may define success differently, one thing is certain: everyone has the desire to live a successful and fulfilling life. There’s no emotionally balanced person who would ever set a goal of failure for their life. God’s deep love for you caused him to give you every opportunity to discover these key principles so they might take root in your heart. These are found repeatedly in the Bible in one form or another. Here is one example from Psalm 73:25-26 (NLT Bible version):

  1. I desire you more than anything on earth. (Genuinely love God and make him the priority of your life).
  2. God remains the strength of my heart. (Trust in him because he is the only one who has a record of never failing or disappointing you).
  3. He is mine forever. (Be encouraged by God’s promise to never leave or forsake you).

-Craig Smith

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