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The Fires of Success

Sometimes success can trip us up as easily as failure. This is true of King Saul in 1 Samuel. He starts out as a shy farmhand chasing donkeys and ends up the king of Israel. The change in his demeanor is equally dramatic. He transforms from a self-deprecating individual to an arrogant and self-centered monarch, from a friend of the prophet Samuel to a mass murderer.

David, however, handles success differently. After David killed Goliath, women sang his praises in the streets (1 Samuel 18:7). If there were ever an opportunity for David to get a big head, this was it. But he remained humble. When Saul offered his daughter to David in marriage, David replied, “Who am I, and who are my relatives, my father’s clan in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?’” (1 Samuel 18:18 ESV).

The difference between Saul and David is striking, but it has nothing to do with innate goodness or destiny. David survived his success because he humbly worshipped God, which gave him proper perspective. It affected the way he viewed himself, his accomplishments and the people around him. David was not perfect, but he was a man after God’s own heart.

So what about you? What’s affecting your view of yourself, your accomplishments and those around you? Examine your heart and ask God to show you if your perspective is shaped by Him or something else. If the answer is something else, it’s time to reassign your worship and realign your heart.

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