Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Idolization of Success

Referring to Luke 10

"It is so easy to rejoice in success. Our self-identity nay become entangled with the fruitfulness of our ministry. Of course, that is dangerous when the success turns sour---but that is not the problem here. Things could not be going better for Jesus' disciples. And then the danger, of course, is that it is not God himself who is being worshiped. Our own wonderful acceptance by God himself no longer moves us, but only our apparent success.

This has been the sin of more than a few 'successful' pastors, and of no fewer 'successful' lay people. While proud of their orthodoxy and while entrusted with a valid mission, they have surreptitiously turned to idolizing something different: success. Few false gods are so deceitful. when faced with such temptations, it is desperately important to rejoice for the best reasons---and there is none better than that our sins are forgiven, and that by God's own gracious initiative our names have been written in heaven.

- D.A. Carson, For the Love of God Vol. I, February 24

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