by Charles R. Swindoll
Yesterday, we looked at the apostle Peter's three crucial realms related to true success: authority, attitude, and anxiety. Let's translate those realms into practical principles. You could think of them in steps, one building upon another.
First, submit yourself to those who are wise (1 Peter 5:5). Listen to their counsel, be accountable and open to their reproofs, accept their suggestions, respect their seasoned years, and follow their model.
Second, humble yourself under God's mighty hand (1 Peter 5:6). In the Old Testament, God's hand symbolizes two things: His discipline and His deliverance. When we humble ourselves under His hand, wanting Him to grant us His kind of success in His own time and way, we willingly accept His discipline as being for our good and His glory, and we gratefully acknowledge His deliverance by whatever means He chooses. In other words, we refuse to manipulate circumstances or maneuver people or massage our own image by some promotional scheme. We let God be God.
Third, throw yourself on the mercy and care of God (1 Peter 5:7). Anxieties will come. Count on it! Troubles and disappointments will appear; fears and worries will build up, leaving you weary and depressed. So, what should you do? Throw them back on the Lord! Cast your burdens—your anxieties—on Him, because He cares for you.
This scriptural game plan is completely out of sync with today's promote-yourself propaganda. But when God is in charge, both the timing and the extent of whatever success He may have in mind for you will be surprising. This does not mean there is no place for planning or goal-setting or diligence; it just means we refuse to make success our private shrine. When God is in it, we're surprised at it rather than smug about it.
Instead of spending all those hours pushing and promoting, we'll wind up with more time for friends and family. And the Lord will even grant you some time for yourself, plus a few extra hours to go fishing!
Seems almost too good to be true, doesn't it? It isn't.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.