August 15, 2020

“For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance.” – Matthew 25:29

Merriam Webster defines “success” as getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame. Success isn’t a particularly difficult word to define on paper, but it’s a very different story when you’re trying to achieve it.

Stephen Berglas, in The Success Syndrome – Hitting Bottom When You Reach The Top, writes about the crisis of success. He says one major cause of this stress is “encore anxiety,” or fear that you won’t be able to repeat or sustain earlier achievements. So, how do we navigate this balance between ambition and humility? Here are a few thoughts to consider as you pursue success:

  1. The price of success is not just hard work and sacrifice, but the crisis you face once your goals are achieved. Many are shocked by the emptiness that still nags at their hearts, even though all their dreams and goals have been reached.
  2. With the privileges of success come a greater sense of responsibility.
  3. Surprisingly, the toughest challenge to a person’s character is not adversity, but how one deals with the advantages and pressures of success.

With this in mind, should we try to avoid success? Absolutely not. God wants us to make the most of our skills and talents for His glory. And that’s the key right there: His glory, not ours. When we pursue success to give GOD the glory, how we navigate the ups and downs along the way will only point others to God. We won’t have to worry about “encore anxiety” or “imposter syndrome” or all the other potential pitfalls of ambition and success. Why? Because of God. God gets the glory and God will handle the journey. We get to go along for the ride. It’s with this humble posture that we can truly enjoy success.