The Forgotten Side of Success

MAYBE WE SHOULD CONFESS that one reason we find it so hard to set selfishness aside and adopt the spirit of a servant is that we’re driven by dreams of success. We want to be winners. Curiously, however, most people admit they never realize what they truly desire in their pursuit of success: contentment, fulfillment, satisfaction, and relief.

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The Forgotten Side of Success

OURS IS FAST BECOMING a success-saturated society. The telltale signs are everywhere. Check the magazine racks at airports, hotels, and drugstores. Click on the webinars and podcasts. Seminars by the hundreds are held every year, offering ideas, motivation, techniques, and mainly promises of prosperity. Books by the dozens and scores of audio and videotapes promoting the dream are published on an annual basis.

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Stay in the Kitchen

NOT LONG AGO I was reading through Psalm 78 when my eye fell upon verse nine. I was intrigued by the strange stroke of the psalmist’s pen. See if you get the same vibes: The warriors of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned their backs and fled on the day of battle. Like foxes hunted by hounds, they ran. The only weapon they used to restrain the enemy was a cloud of dust they stirred up as they retreated en masse, in a hurry, while “armed with bows.”

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Traveling Well

Whether you are traveling as a missionary or in the midst of your personal profession, God would have you travel as Paul traveled. I observe four enduring principles that will help you maximize your effectiveness for Christ.

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Humble Reliance

Wasn’t it a waste of great talent for God to put Paul on hold? Not at all. Wasn’t Tarsus a strange assignment? Not if He wanted him to be prepared to write the letter to the Romans.

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Complete Acceptance

Because we’ve lived with our wives over the years and have become extremely comfortable around them, we tend to be unguarded in our words. Wives usually get the brunt of our worst words.

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Truth Spoken in Love

I’m impressed that Job listened to the words of his wife. He pondered them, he considered them, he turned them over in his mind. He neither misunderstood nor ignored her. He heard what she said.

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A Plea for Understanding

I want to confess that for too long in my ministry I took unfair advantage of Job’s wife, especially since she was not present to defend herself. I think it was probably due to immaturity on my part.

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Questions to Ponder

How have you responded to these temptations mentioned in yesterday’s reading in your own life? Do you give things instead of giving yourself, your presence, your personal involvement?

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For Men

I don’t often recommend a volume without reservation, but I think every man should read Temptations Men Face by Tom Eisenman. I’m not saying I agree with everything in it, or that you will, but his observations, insights, and suggestions are both penetrating and provocative. In fact, that book got me thinking about the top temptations fathers face.

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