Our greatest fall comes at the time of our greatest success, for when we stand at the apex of our lives we assume our indispensability & superiority. We also start searching for new avenues to give us a high of success. For the things that took us to the pinnacle become familiar and therefore are no longer potent to give us a high. So, we venture out in search of that new addiction or habit or avenue as replacement to the old one. Now, is there something with wrong with it?
The two greatest kings in the history of Israel, David and his son Solomon, enjoyed great success in terms of conquests and wealth. Solomon out did his father David in becoming possibly the wisest and the richest man of his time. And the Bible says that both David and Solomon loved the Lord. And as a result, the Lord favored them and lavished them with success. But like father like son, both, fell from the position of moral sanctity and religious piety at the time when success became a synonym to their household. Their love for the Lord and his people had become familiar and a routine which lost its silver lining and hence they searched for something equally or more driving as the previous “addiction”. And both found it in beauty, women. The kings were mighty, superior and indispensable, or that’s what they thought. This paradigm made them unleash their lust without much opposition and intervention. I am sure it gave them another high but this high came at the cost of their reputation, violation of beauty, moral degradation, & blood guilt. This plunged them in the abyss of familial chaos & national disintegration.
It is wrong when our pursuit of “new avenues” make us compromise on our values and belief system. When we forget what and who catapulted us to the zenith we assume indispensability and superiority. When our paradigm shifts from humility before and dependence on God to pride in our contribution and our ability, we become vulnerable to a pseudo sense of divine indebtedness to our being. We believe that God ought to and should “bless” us based on our yesterday’s faithfulness and today’s charity.
Jesus says, apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever abides in me and I abide in him, he is the one who bears much fruit (John 15). According to Jesus fruit or success comes from abiding in Jesus. He doesn’t discount our responsibility to abide, to work, to toil but the fruit that lasts, the fruit which remains, comes from our abiding in Christ. Looking for new avenue or habit for success is not wrong if it doesn’t replace or supersede our relationship with Christ and his people. David and Solomon lost the plot when their appetite for personal gratification superseded their appetite to love God and seek his pleasure.
When our desire for personal success supersedes our desire for God’s pleasure, pinnacle turns upside down to abyss.