“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.” – Proverbs 3:2-4
In the Bible we read of many successful people, such as King David, Abraham, and Joseph. The best definitions, I found for the word success are, ‘The accomplishment of an aim or purpose’, and ‘A person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains fame, wealth, etc.’ (Oxford Dictionaries website).
Those these characters were successful in different ways, the one thing they had in common, was to remain godly in their success. As Christians, it is important when we reach our peak we have Christ-like attributes, why? Because the Bible states that we are to be ambassadors for Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:20, ‘We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God,’.
You see many of us think that once God blesses us, we won’t fall away. We have a ‘this won’t happen to me,’ attitude, and I have been guilty of this myself. The truth is it can happen to us, and very discreetly as well.
I would love for you to achieve your desires, but I would not love for you to turn away from God once you achieve them. Thankfully there are Christians out there who still remain godly in their accomplishments, but in my personal opinion this is in the minority. So what are they doing differently? Here are five tools to remaining godly in your success.
Let go of pride
Pride is a trait that we can quickly develop once we become successful. The person that has the pride doesn’t often view it as that, and they become unteachable. Pride is a characteristic that Gods hates, and it is what got Lucifer kicked out of Heaven. It is truly a horrible characteristic, and can change people’s outlook on you. It makes one very selfish.
Sometimes we can be responsible for another person developing pride, if we exalt them above God. We can be responsible for our own pride developing if we continuously take credit instead of giving God glory.
Yes when someone says nice things about you accept it, there is no reason for you not to, as the Bible does state give honour where honour is due, but remember your source, remember God, and don’t forget to thank Him.
Remember what happened to King Nebuchadnezzar, when God had to humble him. We may be living in a different century to Nebuchadnezzar but our God never changes, and He will humble you to get you back on track. I have experienced this. I rather humble myself than let God humble me. Let’s remain humble, let go of pride.
‘For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.’ Matthew 23:12
‘To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behaviour and perverse speech.’ Proverbs 8:13
Keep God in the center
It is very important that you continue to keep God in the centre. Those that continue to maintain godliness in their achievements has decided to make Jesus Lord over their destiny. Yes they have struggles and temptations, but their aim is to please God. One of the ways we can do this is by giving God glory in things that we do. It helps us to remember that we couldn’t have gotten our accomplishments without Him. I aim to give God glory whenever I email my clients, or if a potential client queries me about my credentials. It helps me to remember that He is Lord and the centre of this agency.
Those that have fallen away came to a decision that they no longer need God in their accomplishments, they’re getting the contacts they need, they have become recognisably, so why should they need Him? They forgot that it wouldn’t profit them to gain the whole world, yet lose their soul.
Now I am not saying this happened overnight, but gradually through time. Remember, ‘Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour,‘ 1 Peter 5:8. It is up to us not to allow him to devour us. The more we know God and develop a relationship with Him, the more we can resist the devil and He will flee.
The Fruit of the Spirit
‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.‘ Galatians 5:22-23
It is important that we put this into practice. This is Godly characteristic, and sums up what we need to remain godly in our success.
This enables us to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh, to allow God’s will to be done over our desires. The more we walk in the Spirit the more we will hate the things of the flesh, and we will have a very fruitful attitude and remain godly in our success.
Remember to whom much is given much is required. Yes we are not perfect, but let’s thrive for excellence. Let’s show people around us that though you are a successful Christian, you have not put God away, you still need Him even in your achievements and will continue too.
Don’t show favouritism
In the publishing industry, the majority of the time people are chosen based on their credentials, especially from the larger houses. Their rejection normally comes in the form of ‘it is not a editorial fit for them.’ But, if they were approached by an agent for a well-known television star, who wrote the same style of manuscript as an unknown person, would they really rejected it? If we were honest the answer would be no.
The reality is the person has a lot to do with their decision, just as much as the manuscript, and also if they have a good rapport with that particular agent. Praise God there are some publishing houses, including large that do accept new authors, and are willing to develop a rapport with an agent they may not have connected with in the past.
Don’t get me wrong it is good to have high profile clients, but it is also good to build up people who are not known as yet.
Did Jesus just choose wealthy people to save? No! He came for ALL sinners. Let God divinely connect you with clients, suppliers, and even your networkers. Don’t just pick people because of what they can do for you. Treat others how you would like to be treated.
It is not every person that you will accept and that is okay, especially if you sought the Lord about it. When God divinely connects the relationship is more wonderful than doing it yourself, I know I have been there. I am very blessed to have the clients and even publishers, I work with now and those that are to come, as God chose them for me, and I believe vice versa.
It is not godly to pick people just because of what they can do for you. People who are recognisably clearly knows, when someone is genuine or not. They too are picky with who they chose. Let us be genuine, and genuinely care for others not just because of what they can do for us. Let’s be balanced.
Acts 10:34 ‘Then Peter began to speak: “I now realise how true it is that God does not show favouritism.’
Pray for guidance
There are decisions that you need to make a quick response on, and thank God He has given us common sense, and a conscience in order to make quick decisions.
However not every decision needs to be quick, especially when it comes to this industry, sometimes you can wait up to eight weeks to get a yes or no answer, on whether you’re manuscript will be accepted for publication. Yet the responses that I have received when a manuscript is turned down; were distasteful.
I remember one response I had, and the reasoning they turned down the manuscript was honestly so minor, and I say that because it could have been corrected through the editing processes, as the manuscript still goes through editing, even when it is accepted for publishing. My client and I were shocked, clearly the person didn’t pray about their decision, they went by their flesh. Yet they had time to pray about it.
It is very easy, when we are in our accomplishment to forget to pray for guidance. Things are growing nicely; we don’t need to have His input. We can go by what we know. Wrong! God can make a success out of anybody, laws and policies can change that can affect business practices, the economy changes. We still need to pray for guidance.
It is important as believers we do, as wisdom comes from God. Remember He can see things that we cannot see as yet. He knows things we cannot know as yet, so what is our excuse for us not to pray for direction?
Psalms 15:18 ‘I look to the LORD for help at all times, and he rescues me from danger.’
I pray these tools will help and encourage you. I am also ministering to myself, as our aim should be to please God.
‘But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.’ Deuteronomy 8:18