The Forgotten Side of Success

1 Peter 5:5–7

MAYBE WE SHOULD CONFESS that one reason we find it so hard to set selfishness aside and adopt the spirit of a servant is that we’re driven by dreams of success. We want to be winners.

Curiously, however, most people admit they never realize what they truly desire in their pursuit of success: contentment, fulfillment, satisfaction, and relief. On the contrary, the roads that are supposed to lead to success are not only rocky; they’re maddening.

Culture demands that you work longer hours, push further ahead, let nothing hinder your quest—not your marriage or family, not your convictions or conscience, not your health or relationships.

At the risk of sounding ultra-simplistic, I’d like to offer some counsel that stands 180 degrees in contrast to all the above. My suggestions will never appear in the Wall Street Journal or in the latest issue of Fast Company magazine. But they do represent a philosophy supported in God’s Word. Peter wrote them way back in the first century.

You who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

1 PETER 5:5–7

Remarkably, those words were actually penned by Peter—the once burly, self-determined fisherman from Galilee. Yet from the sting of failure followed by the gentle mercy of Christ, he finally learned the wonder of obedience.

Let’s think of it as the forgotten side of success. It’s also the reward that comes to those who wish to develop the heart of a servant through the pain of surrender.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

Posted in Leadership, Men, Pastors and tagged .

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.