January 8, 2015

Suffering From Success

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 8, 2015

But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. Genesis 13:6-7

Over the years I have watched men and women struggle with their success. One family in particular handled success well. After selling their business they increased their giving, not their standard of living. They live in the same house, drive the same cars, attend the same church and have the same friends. This successful family is still very intentional about investing in their marriage and in people broken by divorce. Wisely, this sweet couple continues to practice the humility and integrity that gave them success. Success is a platform of influence to be used for God’s plan.

Two family members, Abram and Lot, did not manage success very well. They kept all their possessions and divided, instead of letting go of some stuff and uniting. They could have given away some of their possessions and made room for life together. But because they both kept it all, one  eventually lost it all. They could have been better together, but when they split up—they were conquered. We suffer from success if we selfishly demand our way and miss accountability.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor” (Ecclesiastes 4:9).

Has success changed you for the better or for the worse? Has your accountability increased or decreased? One good success indicator is continuing to cultivate a generous heart. Generosity is the best remedy for greed. Perhaps you join a Compass group to refresh your spirit around biblical teaching on money management. You might define a financial finish line and give away everything over that amount. Also, pray for creative ways your stuff can be used to grow relationships not divide them. Leverage your assets as tools for God’s work not toys for yourself.

Moreover, as our heavenly Father’s grateful children, we give Him credit for any successes in life. God gave us the gift of His son Jesus, so by faith we have His Spirit living within us to guide our decision-making. Because of the Lord’s leadership in our lives, we are able to live abundant lives. Anything good we have comes from God. He gives our mind wisdom to think clearly. He gives our heart humility to act graciously. He gives our soul salvation to live gratefully. So, we give God glory for our success. Without Him we fail—with Him we succeed.

“You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I give You the glory for any successes I enjoy. Work through me..

Related Readings: Judges 7:2; Psalm 44:3; Isaiah 10:13; John 15:5; James 1:17

Post/Tweet this today: Success is a platform of influence to be used for God’s purposes. #sufferingfromsucess #wisdomhunters

Additional Resource: 9 minute video- Andy Andrews, The Butterfly Effect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo6fBAT8f-s

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