The Temptation Called Success

Do you turn immediately to God when you find success?
Do you turn immediately to God when you find success? (Flickr )

Leading an organization to success is a slippery slope.

By whatever definition a leader accepts as success, he is sure to find that success is simply a bus stop. The entropic process is a daily reminder that all organizations move toward disorder. Our closet may be clean and in order today, but soon and very soon, disarray will appear as if by design.

"Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed, lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12, MEV).

Success can easily slip into idolatry. It is easy for a leader to begin to believe his own press clippings. When goals are accomplished and quantitative evaluations are glowing, it is a very critical juncture for a leader.

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The temptation is to forget the favor of the Lord. When this happens, man begins to believe that he is independent of the impartation of favor. The tempter wants us to believe we did it on our own. While we may never stoop to say, "I don't need God," we may begin to reduce our desire for His presence and reduce or eliminate prayer.

We begin to drift or slip away. We leave the cross in baby steps.

I recall my years in broadcast television and radio marketing. As I would go to work in a new television market, the first thing I would determine was the "number one" ranked station in terms of audience size. I learned early on that the market leader was the most vulnerable company to competitive intrusion. The market leader frequently ceased to learn and grow. Market leaders were too busy being number one to recognize their organization had developed vulnerability.

I found it much easier to grow into the position of market leader than it was to remain the best in the market. It is very difficult for the champion of anything to hold on to the title. A portion of the title is given away by the resting champ and the other portion is chomped by a hungry challenger.

It seems to me that the heart of a leader is the key to maintaining a leading, thriving organization. I believe a successful leader will pursue God and remain close to Him and seek to be closer, yet. Trials and tests will surely come, but the committed leader will seek to follow direction provided by the Holy Spirit.

A leader's temptation is to trust the work of man. Our response to this temptation is to speak as Jesus spoke:

"Get away from here Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve'" (Matthew 4:10, MEV).



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Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, here.

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