Nov 11, 2011

How to Pass the Test of Success


 "Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,  
but a person is tested by being praised."  
Proverbs 27:21

Success will test you.  Just as fire brings out the impurities in silver and gold, so success will bring out our impurities.  One of the hardest things for anyone to handle is when they are praised by others.  Our fallen nature is quick to take credit for achievement. 

The test is not whether you will allow others to compliment you or not.  The test is how you will respond to the compliments.  Here are some truths to keep in your heart when you are tested by success.

Always remember that you can't accomplish anything without God.  Keep John 15 in your heart.  Abide in Him.  Depend upon His power not your own.  Fruit comes from the seed not the sower.  Beg for His wisdom instead of using your own limited wisdom.  We don't bring success to God...He brings it to us.
 
Stay teachable so you can remain useable.  Don't let success turn you into a know-it-all.  Keep a humble, teachable spirit.  Be a leader who is always learning.  Learn from everywhere you go and from everyone you meet.

Always give the credit to God.  Doing this privately is more important than doing it publicly.  When others praise you, don't become "pious" in your humility by saying something like "It's all because of Jesus."  Everyone already knows that.  Simply acknowledge their compliment with a simple "thank you" while internally thanking God for His work through your life.  I have watched godly leaders when others acknowledge them and this is what they do. 

Know that the commendations and condemnations of man will come and go. Don't let either sway you.  Ask God to grow you to the place where the praises of men will not cause you to feel exalted in pride, nor will their criticisms cause you to become fearful or discouraged.

Don't pursue success...pursue God.  God hasn't called us to be "successful."  He has called us to be faithful to love and serve Him.  Success is knowing Him and making Him known.   

Let your joy come from your personal relationship with God not from your performance for God.  We all have a natural bent toward feeling valued based on our performance.  You have nothing to prove.  God loves you unconditionally.  Rest in the fact that you are His child.

What you do with past success can determine how much future success God gives you.  The Bible reminds us that if we humble ourselves we will be exalted in God's time.  If you are faithful to give God the glory for a little success, He may entrust you with more success. 

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