Christians often think of “secular” in terms of art & culture but one of the ways we are most secular is in our understanding of success.
A Kingdom-oriented life means that success can be measured by what and who comes behind us. Success is laying the foundation for those coming behind us to do even greater things that us.
Success can be faithfully & anonymously toiling for the harvest, even if you are not the one who ultimately gets the credit for bringing it in.
Cultural factors have to be taken into consideration when gauging success. What may be overlooked or dismissed in some contexts should be rightly celebrated in others as highly successful.
In a narcissistic society, sacrifice for the benefit of those coming behind you is a means of God’s sanctification. It’s a merciful reminder that it’s not all about us. The fruit of those coming behind us will require a sacrificial death to ourselves and point us to our Savior.