A leader’s response to success and prosperity is as significant as his/her response to failure and adversity.
Success can distort our hearts, leading us to forget that apart from God we can do nothing of significance. It can lead us to become proud, not only to forget who God is, but to forget who we are. I spoke to a leader who told me that he had been reluctant to consider himself as a leader (even though he led) and that part of the reason for that was his observation of people whose success and status changed them for the worse: their ego took over as they were increasingly celebrated as leaders.
External success might draw a blind over what may be going on in the hidden parts of our lives. It might even lead us to think that the hidden and inner parts of our lives don’t really matter too much: after all, look at how successful we are. Another leader I spoke to recalled a time when his public ministry was flourishing while his home life was in chaos. The more his ego was stroked as his ministry prospered, the more he worked and the less he invested in his family.
The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and a man is tested by his praise (Proverbs 27:21).