Thursday, September 11, 2014

Can You Handle Success?

My morning Bible reading carried me back in time to the wilderness between Egypt and the Promised Land. Over and over, God stressed that He would help the children of Israel as they entered the Promised Land. He would drive out stronger armies than theirs. He would provide a land flowing with milk and honey. But the flip side was a warning: They were not to adopt the ways of those pagan nations. They were not to grow proud and think that their own might had achieved such great victories. In short, they were to remain humble, to obey God's laws, and to praise Him for working on their behalf.

So how does all this relate to you?

It's easy to be humble and to seek God's direction when you're starting a new endeavor. Maybe it's a new job. Maybe it's writing a book. Unfortunately, some people don't handle success very well. They look back and see how far they've come and swell with pride, as if they reached those heights without God's aid.

An editor friend once confided (without naming names) how even Christian authors sometimes fall into this trap. After their first book or two, they become haughty. Their nose tips upward. They polish the halo a bit as they soak up praise. According to my friend, one author even publicly claimed, "No one has ever edited my material," when in fact the editorial team had thoroughly edited his words.

Can you handle success? If you reach your goals, will you remember to thank God for His help? Or will you ignore the fact that He is the One who gave you your brain, your talents, and your health as you can take all the credit?

Friend, I wish you good success, but I also wish for you the humility and good sense needed to keep success from spoiling you!


  1. Honestly, I think I have the opposite problem....handleing failure (perhaps a topic suggestion for this extended idea?) Life has so many hurdles right now, I can't seem to get much writing (if any) in these days. Ok, I guess a got a few seconds here, but I have so many things I want to write, but life's responsibilities get in the way.

  2. Darren, I agree that, for a freelance writer, scraping together enough minutes to write can be a challenge. But, I think it would be a major mistake for anyone to consider himself or herself a failure simply because they do not find time to write stories, articles, poems, or whatever. More important than writing is having a career, providing a safe and loving home environment, living for the Lord and glorifying Him.... No person who does these things is a failure. I know you're extremely successful in the retail world. Not everyone could do what you do. So for you, perhaps this post better applies to your successes in your regular career?