How to Be Successful Without Letting It Change You

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Behind every face on television, every voice on the radio, every giant in business or politics, there is a story. There are roots. They weren't just born shining stars—they had to get into the sky first. As the cliche goes, "You've got to start somewhere!"

But what's most interesting to me is how much someone changes—or doesn't—when he or she reaches even a little success.

Whether it's the boy who starts an earth-moving nonprofit, or the girl who becomes president, you'll likely hear stories from teachers or childhood friends about little traits or quirks from early on that tipped them off to coming success: "I knew she had it in her." Or you might hear baffled retrospection from parents: "I never knew he had it in him!"

As the years go by, one of the best things that can be said about us is that our victories and successes haven't changed us. This doesn't go for just the next world-changer or culture-shifter. This applies to all of us. You and I should remain humble and grateful before the Lord in whatever challenges we overcome and in whatever success we find in life.

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We see this kind of humility in David when he defeated Goliath. He was still a man of the people after turning the tide against the entire Philistine army. Little did he know how many more military victories would follow, and what a legacy he would ultimately leave.

When Saul offered David his oldest daughter, Merab, David replied, "Who am I? And what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?" (1 Sam. 18:18).

We saw this humility intact when David became king. He was still a man of the people and a man after God's own heart.

You see, David knew who he was and where he came from in spite of having become the most famous person in all of Israel. Success did not change him. Even when he stumbled in his human pride or found himself tempted, he recognized his sin for what it was and never failed to lay it before the throne of God in humility. He didn't feel as though he deserved any special treatment.

Today, many people are fixated on getting "what they deserve"—or think they deserve. Well, each of us should be eternally grateful that we haven't gotten what we deserved! We deserve death, but God has given us eternal life. That should fill our hearts with gratitude in the face of any victory or loss, as we bring glory to God amidst it all.

As we give Him glory, God may cause us to move from victory to victory within His will as He moves and works in the world. What a blessing and an honor!

As victories may come to us in this life, let us hold these words in our hearts through all things: "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Your name give glory, for the sake of Your mercy, and for the sake of Your truth" (Ps. 115:1).

Jack Graham is the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church and the host of PowerPoint Ministries.

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