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by Bob and Debby Gass

Success… can you handle it?

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IF YOU GAIN MORE RICHES, DON’T PUT YOUR TRUST IN THEM.

PSALMS 62:10 NCV
People often talk about difficulties in life as being character building. The Book of Proverbs teaches, ‘If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn’t much to you’ (Proverbs 24:10 TM). But it’s not just the hard times that reveal true character. If you’re pursuing a dream and using all your God-given talent to make it a reality you’ll eventually have to deal with success. Tough times challenge your faith and your patience, but handling success can be just as hard. Here’s how it breaks down: hardship limits your options and forces you to focus on surviving; prosperity complicates your life and attacks your integrity with all sorts of selfish temptations. That’s why David says, ‘If you gain more riches, don’t put your trust in them.’ Chuck Swindoll says, ‘Being successful doesn’t give anybody permission to call wrong right.’ He’s pointing out that success comes with certain dangers. God needs us to handle success without letting our values slide. The Bible says God promotes and downgrades as He sees fit, ‘He decides who will rise and who will fall’ (Psalms 75:7 NAS). And He doesn’t need our permission to do it. And the Bible is full of examples proving that it happens. Joseph went from prison to become Prime Minister (Genesis 41:42-43). Daniel was promoted to rule over one-third of the country (Daniel 6:1-2). Amos went from picking figs to being a prophet in the royal household (Amos 7:14-15). God gave a humble rancher named Job untold wealth. He took David ‘from the sheepfolds…To shepherd…Israel… according to the integrity of his heart’ (Psalms 78:70-72). So, success… can you handle it?

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