The Danger of Moderate Success
post date: September 21, 2010
Moderate success we can handle. Overwhelming success can destroy us because we’re not ready for it.
When Jesus called Peter in Luke 5:1-11, the following things happened . . .
1. Peter had been fishing all night and had caught nothing.
2. He was washing his nets when Jesus asked to use his boat as a floating pulpit.
3. Jesus told Peter to “launch out into the deep.”
4. Peter replies, “Lord, we have caught nothing. Nevertheless at your word, I will let down the nets.”
5. They caught so many fish that their nets began to break.
6. They filled up two boats with so many fish that the boats began to sink.
7. Peter cries out, “Lord, depart from me for I am sinful man.”
I always thought that was a strange response. Peter wants nothing to do with Jesus after such astounding success.
But it makes sense if you think about it.
15 fish they could handle. Or 50. Or 100. They were ready for “moderate success.” But they weren’t prepared for hundreds and hundreds of fish. Especially after catching nothing the night before.
Moderate success is dangerous because it makes us think we did it. “You and me, Jesus. Look at what we did together.” But when your success overwhelms your capacity, it forces you to say, “Lord, I can’t handle this for I am a sinful man.”
If your “success” makes you proud and arrogant, it sets you up for failure later. If your “success” frightens you so that you are forced to your knees, then you’re a excellent candidate for the grace of God.
Moderate success can ruin us quicker than almost anything else. Beware of thinking that you’re hot stuff because you caught a few fish. Anyone can do that. Last night’s failure and this morning’s overwhelming success both come from the hand of the Lord.
It’s the stuff in between that gets us in trouble.
Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post? If you have a Facebook account, you may comment below:
Related blog posts
- I’m a Kindle Convert – September 30, 2010
- Sermon Video: “Our Coming to You Was Not in Vain” – September 26, 2010
- New Video: Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People? – September 25, 2010
- Bad things, good people – September 24, 2010
- Maybe the Best Prisoner Letter We’ve Ever Received – September 24, 2010
- When You’re On the Internet, You’re In Our Neighborhood – September 23, 2010
- Forgiveness and the Christian – September 22, 2010
- Radio interview with Jim Bob Duggar of “19 Kids and Counting” – September 20, 2010
- Root of Pornography – September 20, 2010
- The Great Don Wildmon – September 19, 2010