Confession: Success Redefined

I was told before I came to Burundi that things would be hard and that I would be engaged in a spiritual battle in the beginning. Physically, moving to Burundi presented its challenges but overall living here with the level of wealth that we have in a lot of ways is not much different than in the states—if you don't count convenience in the equation. What seems inconvenient for me as I drive around in a car having dear Burundians help me as if I were a child does not compare to the many who walk four hours a day to get to and from school or the hour commute into and out of the city every day on every form of transport we can dream up in our minds. So where is the attack coming from if not physically? The scripture tells us to look not to the seen but to the unseen. Well, what is unseen often to myself and others is my heart. There lurking within my own heart is the deadly idol of success. I'll just say it again—I WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL. Now, being successful in itself is not wrong, but to want it more than you desire fellowship with God puts us in the precarious position of idolatry. This is where I live most days. Andy Crouch writes in his book Playing God, “What is the ultimate claim that all idols make? All idols begin by offering great things for a very small price. All idols then fail, more and more consistently to deliver on their original promises while ratcheting up their demands which initially seemed so reasonable for worship and sacrifice.” Restated by Jeff Satinover, “Idols ask for more and more while giving less and less, until eventually they demand everything and give nothing.” So how do I go about tearing down this idol? Becoming like a child again that is helpless and powerless? Jesus said in Matthew 18:4, “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” So, if I catch Jesus rightly, he is saying look unsuccessful; become completely dependent again and when it counts you will be regarded as successful. I don't like this and, to be honest, I have no conclusion for this blog except to ask that you pray for me and our team.


-Russ Bennett

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