I recently heard a story about a man who was pressed to get to a very important meeting in a crowded city downtown area. He was having a devil of a time finding a parking spot, so he turned to prayer. “God, if you will just get me a parking space so I can make this meeting, I will love You forever.” Just then, a parking spot opened up right at the front door of the building. “Thanks anyway, God, but I’ve got this one covered.”
How often are we taking this view of our successes?
It is so easy for us to turn to God when we are having difficulties. Jesus wants us to let Him carry our burdens.
But what of the good times, the successes in our lives?
OK, we all thank God for the blessings in our lives. It is a part of the ritual of prayer. We thank Him for the beauty of spring. For the wonder of our children and grandchildren. We thank Him for our health or healing or comfort during times of challenge.
But what of our successes, whatever they may be. It could be that we have great financial success, passed a difficult exam, acquired fame or figured out how to fix a leaky toilet.
It is so easy for us to puff our chests at our successes. “Look what I did!”
Don’t let our successes go to our heads. It can break us in a heartbeat. Satan looks for our weaknesses. And in success there can be great weakness if we get too full of ourselves. We are often broken by our successes.
Why? Well, we just take too much credit ourselves. We take pride in our successes. Too much pride is not such a good thing. I know… I’ve been very, very full of myself. I was doing so darned well, was so successful, I kinda let God slip away. Broken! Snapped like a twig, I was. I became arrogant. Frankly, to all around me, I became a genuine pain in the donkey!
It is easy to see becoming discouraged, dismayed or broken when things go wrong. It takes great faith, sometimes, to turn things over to Jesus during these times.
But what about the good times? The successes in our lives? It takes a great deal of faith to let the glory for those go to God, too. Like the promises of Baal, to seductiveness of Aphrodite, the pure enjoyment of Bacchus, we can be easily distracted and deceived by our successes. And they can break us…
Before puffing your chest or letting your head expand too much, pause with each success, small or large, and give thanks where it belongs.
Blessings to All,
Alive in the Word
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