The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise. Proverbs 27:21
With adversity comes the test. The fires of trial drive us to God. The battering storms cause us to cry out in desperation. Hardship drops us to our knees. But there is one test much greater than adversity. It is the test of success ... the sweet smell, taste, and experience of achievement ... that's the real test of a person's character.
Promotions. Awards. Higher positions. More money. Those are the things that reveal a person's character. The danger of reading your own press is that you begin to believe it. Success tempts us to think that we are good without God. That we really do deserve the accolades. That our genius produced such a rewarding outcome. That our gutsy move saved the company. Success turns many hearts inward instead of upward. Success is the real test of the heart.
How are you doing? You, up there on the mountaintop of career. You, up there with the trophies of accomplishment. Be careful up there in the heights. The peak of victory is surrounded by a slippery slope. It's a long, hard, painful slide to the bottom. If you are not careful, success will produce pride, and pride always comes before the fall.
Father, may we never forget that You are the Mover behind all our advancements, the Giver behind all that we have, the Shepherd of all our cares, and the Creator we must bow before in love and awe. Don't let selfish pride infest our hearts. Keep them turned to You. In Jesus' name. Amen.