Everyone wants to be smart and successful but that can be empty and meaningless if we don’t truly know God. Let’s be honest; a humble minimum wage worker who knows God is far better off than the billionaire wandering aimlessly through life. If we know God, there isn’t any accomplishment that will elevate our stature above that of any other human being. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6) We are all the same in the eyes of God. Even if we have all the knowledge of the world, we are nothing without the love that God provides.
It’s important for us to strike a balance between our thirst for worldly success and our desire to move closer to God. The more worldly success we have, the more we tend to seek the praise of those around us rather than the approval of God. It’s easy to get caught up in educational goals, and vocational goals, and materialistic goals, but we are moving in the wrong direction if those goals are not also centered on our relationship with God. “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” (Colossians 3:23-24) True satisfaction in life is the product of a sincere effort to accomplish the will of God. We need to use our worldly success wisely in the pursuit of service to God by serving others.
The first thing we need to do whenever we achieve any measure of success, is praise God for entrusting us with another layer of responsibility. Secondly, we need to at the same time realize how inadequate we still are in comparison to the awesome power of God. “He leads the humble in justice, and He teaches the humble His way.” (Psalm 25:9) We need to look away from our worldly reflection and instead see ourselves as God sees us. There is nothing more important than remaining humble in all circumstances. We should always consider others more important than ourselves.
Even when we see others moving in the wrong direction, we need to refrain from feeling superior because of our relationship with God; instead, we should remember how easy it is to fall victim to the dark worldly deception that seeks to destroy us. We are all weak, and should consider ourselves as weak as the next person. “Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (James 4:10) Only by the grace of God are we able to overcome the enemy and find salvation in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
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