September 25, 2018
Proverbs 27:17-21 New Living Translation (NLT)
Character plays a huge role in God’s idea of success and that reality motivated my father and mother. I was blessed with parents who continually pointed at my responsibility to respect God, others, and myself when it came to success. We need to include ourselves in that respect line up, because if we disrespect ourselves with how we live we can never get away from ourselves, can we? You and I can accomplish all kinds of things the world may deem successful, but if we do not develop the right attitudes and character, we can find ourselves filled with lust, greed, pride, and arrogance which snuff the spiritual light and life out of us.
In our proverb today, we are reminded about the need for integrity and great character as an essential portion of what God calls success. Praise reveals a lot about our character; it works in our souls like high temperatures test metal. Do we work just to get praise? Is that our attitude and goal for success? When people around us praise everything we do is that the only time we feel good inside? If we try our hardest and no one praises us do we still feel successful? To grow in true personal success, we must ask ourselves: 1) “why” we do the things we do; 2) “what” we care most about in life; and 3) “where” we want to lead other people by our words and actions.
As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.
As workers who tend a fig tree are allowed to eat the fruit,
so workers who protect their employer’s interests will be rewarded.
As a face is reflected in water,
so the heart reflects the real person.
Just as Death and Destruction are never satisfied,
so human desire is never satisfied.
Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
but a person is tested by being praised.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for this lesson on character and how you use a divine measure for success. Lead me toward true personal success. In Jesus’ name. Amen.