We often don’t think about it but success can be more dangerous than failure. It’s during the times when life seems to be humming along at a perfect rate and everything is going just grand that we are most likely to fall.
Success brings along with it three dangers.
Success always brings with it the temptation to think that we did it all on our own. Nebuchadnezzar fell into this same trap when he looked out over the great city of Babylon and attributed its success to his own abilities. Then he went crazy and spent the next seven years acting like a wild animal! (Daniel 4:30-37)
Financial success usually brings a level comfort which inclines us to relax and take it easy. The problem is that when we stop doing the work God has called us to do sin has a much easier time finding a spot in our lives. That’s what happened to King David. Instead of going to war with his men he decided to relax and it didn’t take long before he gave in to temptation. (2 Samuel 11:1-5)
Let’s face it, we are forgetful people. Before he died Moses warned the people not to forget the God who brought them out of Egypt. Moses knew that once the people were in the land and had everything they needed it would be easy to forget. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened. (Judges 2:7-12)
Maybe one of the reasons success is so dangerous is because we have a wrong definition about what it really is.
Our society tells us that in order to be successful you need to be:
In contrast God defines success a little differently. According to the Bible success is about being:
- A steward
- A servant
What can you do to avoid the dangers of success?
- Acknowledge that all good things ultimately come from God, not from you.
- Verbally thank God for your success.
- Point out to others that God is the reason for your success.
- Recognize that you need God just as much (or more) in your success as you do in your failures.
- Establish daily habits of prayer and meditation on God’s Word as reminders of what true success is.
- Imagine what your life would be like without God.
- Tell your faith story to others and focus on what God did in your life.
- Be thankful for things beyond your personal success like family, church, salvation.