Fear of Success
How do you define success? Are you afraid of success? Have you limited your growth due to not wanting more responsibility?
Let's explore this topic together in today's devotional:
His Lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things enter into the joy of your lord” Matthew 25:21.
I know what you are thinking, “Why would someone be afraid of success? Isn’t success what everyone is seeking?" Success is usually defined as the attainment of an aim or the attainment of popularity or profits. So why would someone be afraid of that? This kind of definition puts the emphasis on the perks that success can bring rather than on what success really is.
Yes, success does have perks but success is not about perks. Successful entrepreneurs tend to have profitable businesses and enjoy a certain level of influence but that is not what success is all about. True success is great
responsibilities with the joy of the Lord. Yes, success in God means He will give you more assets to manage, more people to lead, a greater level of influence and more will be demanded of you. Unlike the world however these responsibilities come with His joy. What is His joy? It is a peace that passes all understanding; it is a restful state in the midst of growing demand on your time and energy. It is grace to handle pressure without feeling under pressure. It is what Jesus called rest in the midst of labor. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” Matthew 11:28-30.
Success also can come with the increased likelihood that people will judge you and place demands on your time and resources. In certain cultures people work very hard to hide or downplay their success because they are afraid of being perceived as corrupt or being preyed upon. The expectation in some cultures is that if you are successful you must have done something illegal or you should share your resources upon request; sharing your resources becomes almost a duty. Thus people think, “Why should I work hard and sacrifice just to share with those who feel entitled to my resources or to be judged as corrupt?”
Another belief some may have is that success will require that they forsake their values or things that are most important to them because they see many successful people with unbalanced lives. These people are afraid that if they
succeed, their lives will also be unbalanced. Just because many successful people sacrifice their families, are full of pride, have a love for money and are consumed by the perks of success, some conclude that is the nature of success. However, you can be successful without falling in love with money, being prideful and sacrificing your family and others. Success is not defined by the amount of things you possess but by your ability to handle the responsibilities handed to you by your achievements. If you stay true to your values and commit to operating your business and life based upon biblical principles, you will never reach more success than your values can handle.
Just as the two servants in Matthew 25 who traded their talents profitably were rewarded with greater responsibilities with the joy of the Lord, God will reward your faithfulness with the same and He will never give you more then you can handle.
The fear of success is an internal distressing emotion due to a real or imagined inability to handle greater responsibilities. Unlike the fear of failure, you know that what you are aiming for will have a positive outcome, your concern with success may be, “Can I handle it”? The fear of failure says, “What if it does not work?” While the fear of success says, “What if it does work?”
Remember, just as your Daddy is with you should you fail, He is also with you when you succeed. As Jesus told the apostles, “…with God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26b. Have you been concerned with the impact of taking your business to the next level? Have you been concerned with your ability to handle the responsibility that will be thrust upon you?
My prayer for you this week is that God will grant you the grace to know His will and the wisdom to know how to handle the responsibilities of success.
Reflection: Are you retraining God’s plan for your business?
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