The Christian living site of Pastor Jim Piper, Jr.

Storing Up Success

March 19, 2013 :: Jim Piper, Jr.

Proverbs 2:7 says, "He stores up success for the upright; He is a shield for those who live with integrity." HCSB

Two very attractive outcomes are predicted for those who live a life of integrity: success and protection. 

The text does not promise a life without difficult times nor does it paint a picture absent of threat. To "store" implies a need for reserves. A "shield" implies a need for defense. 

The meaning of the proverb is clear. The best way to live a successful life in a world filled with challenges and uncertainties is to be a person of integrity.

A person of integrity has seven elements of character at work. These elements have been identified and explained by Phil Eastman in his work "The Character Model of Leadership." In this model, the seven elements are Justice, Temperance, Courage, Wisdom, Faith, Hope, and Love.

No matter our past, this proverb provides hope because we know that character can be defined, measured, and developed. As we partner with God in the development and practice of character, we will experience both success and protection because short-term problems will not dominate our spirit. Temptations will become reminders that trigger godliness instead of mistakes. 

The pursuit of character will discipline the way we think and how we apply strength to daily challenges. The distractions of problems and temptations will have no opportunity to develop roots.

As the proverb explains, the result of practicing godly character on a daily basis is the storing up of success, little by little. The more we experience triumph over poor decisions and temptations, the less our desperate emotions have opportunity to persuade. I'm convinced that most threats do not come the outside but from how we deal with them on the inside. 

This is an issue of self leadership and it is an inside-out proposition. In order for God's leadership to be felt within us, we must consciously submit our desire for self-gratification to his desires for us. His will always has a better long-term outcome but often requires a short-term sacrifice.

If this is the life you desire, it has three requirements: you must become a student of character, desire to live above the horizontal norm, and seek empowerment from God's Spirit. To learn more about the shaping of your character, please feel free to email me at jim@TodayMinistries.com.

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