Forgotten Side of Success

Matthew 6:24-34

We are a success-saturated society. The telltale signs are everywhere. Each year dozens of books and magazines, scores of audiotapes and videotapes, and hundreds of seminars offer ideas, motivation, techniques, and promises of prosperity.

Curiously, however, few ever address what most folks want (but seldom find) in their pursuit of success: contentment, fulfillment, satisfaction, and relief. On the contrary, as the Executives’ Digest once reported, “The trouble with success is that the formula is the same as the one for a nervous breakdown.”

And what is that? Work longer hours, push ahead, let nothing hinder your quest—not your marriage or family, not your convictions or conscience, not your health or friends. Be aggressive, if necessary mean, as you press toward the top.

At the risk of sounding ultra-simplistic, I’d like to offer some counsel that stands 180 degrees in contrast to all the above: “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:5–7).

These verses address three crucial realms related to true success: authority, attitude, and anxiety. And the best part is this: Following God’s directives will bring the one benefit not found in the world’s empty promises—a deep sense of lasting satisfaction. It’s what we could call the forgotten side of success.

First, submit yourself to those who are wise. Listen to their counsel, be accountable and open to their reproofs, accept their suggestions, respect their seasoned years, follow their model.

Second, humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, allowing Him to grant you His kind of success in His own time and way.

Third, throw yourself on the mercy and care of God. This does not mean there is no place for planning or goal-setting or diligence; it just means we refuse to make success our private shrine. When God is in it, we’re surprised at it rather than smug about it.

Instead of spending all those hours pushing and promoting, we’ll wind up with more time for friends and family—and ourselves. Seems almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? It isn’t.

Submission + Humility – Worry = God-Honoring Success with Satisfaction

Following God's directives brings you what the world can’t promise—a deep sense of lasting satisfaction.

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Taken from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.