Monday, July 8

The danger of success

Scripture: Hosea 13-14, Psalm 100, 102, Hebrews 5

Hosea 13:5–6  I cared for you in the wilderness, in the land of burning heat. 6 When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.

Observation

Through the prophet, God reminds Israel of His care for them in the wilderness, when Moses led them to the Promised Land.  God fed them in the wilderness; He provided food, water, clothes—everything they needed. But there was a problem.  When God fed them, they were satisfied; and when they were satisfied, they became proud and forgot God.  

Here is the danger of success: we become self-satisfied, proud, and forget God, even though He is one who gave us the success!  Israel did this, and we do it too.

Application

Do we want to succeed?  Of course!  Does God want us to succeed?  Yes!  So this is not a rant against success.  It is a warning: success can breed self-satisfaction and pride which leads us to forget God and rely only on ourselves.  

The answer is to remember God in the midst of the success He gives, and humbly and gratefully continue to seek Him and depend on Him.  Don’t let success numb you to God; let it make you more grateful and humble.  

J. Hudson Taylor said that trouble can move you closer to God or farther away.  If it gets in between you and God, it can push you farther away.  But if you press in close to God, it will only push you closer.

The same could be said for success.  It can push you closer to God in gratitude and dependence, or push you farther away in self-satisfaction and pride.  It’s up to you.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the success You’ve given me.  I know I’m a turtle on a fencepost—I’m where I am because of You.  Help me to stay humble, grateful and dependent—never self-satisfied or proud.