1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV)
2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
You are a trustee of God’s wealth. When you die, God will ask you to account for what you did with the treasure God entrusted to you (everything from your relationship with God, to your relationships with people, to the abilities, skills, experiences, opportunities, and dreams that God allowed you to have). On that day, only God’s opinion will matter.
Since God is the only true judge, don’t live for people’s approval. Stop comparing yourself to others. Instead, live to please God. As Paul says in verses 3-4: “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself…It is the Lord who judges me.”
Also, since God is only true judge, don’t spend all your time judging others as if you’re the judge. As verse 5 says, “judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes…At that time each will receive their praise from God.”
Finally, remember that success in the world’s eyes and faithfulness in God’s eyes are not necessarily the same thing.
For example, Jonah was the most successful preacher in the Old Testament. Everywhere he went God used him to bring people to God. Even when he disobediently ran away from God in a boat, everyone on the boat got saved when Jonah confessed his sins. With very little effort, Jonah preached and an entire city of Nineveh (which may have numbered 2 million people) turned to God.
Compare that to Jeremiah who preached for thirty years without seeing even a single person come to Christ.
As Pastor Jon Courson writes,
“If Jonah were alive today, books would be written about him. Conferences would feature him. Videos would be made of him. Jeremiah? He'd be sitting in the back row of one of Jonah's seminars. But in God's economy, so impacting was Jeremiah that when Jesus came on the scene, no one ever mistook Him for Jonah. They thought He was Jeremiah.” (from Jon Courson's Application Commentary)
Since God is the only judge, don’t chase after success in the world’s eyes. Pursue faithfulness in God’s eyes and in the end you’ll achieve true success.