Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Antidote for Fear of Success

The list of hurdles a writer must overcome can be long and familiar such as writer’s block or deadlines. One I’ve rarely seen addressed is fear of success, yet I suspect this may be particularly insidious especially for Christian writers.

The heart of the matter is quite personal. What if success changes me?

We’ve all seen the movies and read the stories of how success changed plain, simple people. What if success changes me for the worse? What if I forsake the God I love for mammon? What if I lose my family in the hectic schedule fame brings? What if I can’t deal with the loneliness of a publicity tour? What if I get caught up in harmful relationships or habits? What if I become demanding, arrogant, and prideful? What if success puts my family in the public eye? Does God want me to succeed? Am I being compelled by my pride? As a Christian, is it wrong to long for success?

The prescription for relief from fear of success for the starting writer is the same as for the established writer and the same for the writer with many books, high sales and a well-known name. It’s a seven-fold prescription:

1. Put God first.
2. Trust Him to give you all you that is good for you.
3. Read His Word daily.
4. Stop to love on Him and listen.
5. Do not entertain ungodly counsel.
6. Hold onto your integrity through decisions and actions that honor Him.
7. Remember the formula for success has not changed: God first, family next, and other ministry, including writing ministry, third.

Men and women of God who made the greatest impact on the world spent the most time with God. The One who created time still makes everything fall into place, still creates enough time to accomplish what he has given you to do, still makes things happen or delays them so that his will might be done, and that we might acknowledge our dependence on him.

True success does not involve pulling of bootstraps on one’s own. True success is living by Jesus words: “I am the vine and you are the branch. Without me, You can do nothing that will count for anything in God’s kingdom.”

In every eventuality, God has already provided. That is because he knows us. He understands our tendencies and fears. Fears that are not from him as 2 Timothy 1:7 states God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear. He’s given us the spirit of power, love, and a sound mind. Here's some of God's provision:

·         Meditate on and speak continually from God’s Word …then you shall be prosperous, and have good success. Joshua 1:8
·         Wisdom starts with a deep abiding respect of the one supreme LORD Prov. 9:10
·         The LORD gives wisdom, knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6-7
·         Wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and readily available, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. James 3:17
·         Stay securely in God’s truth and then you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. John 2:24
·         Let the Lord be magnified. He takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. Psalm 35:27b
·         As My Word goes forth, it shall not return to Me void… and it shall prosper as in as I the LORD intend it. Isaiah 55:11
·         I cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I, the LORD, will give them treasures. Prov. 8:21
Mary Allen

 This is what I know personally. " I sought the Lord. He heard me and delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4.

Until next month, walk with God.


  1. What a wonderful article! You've presented an honest assessment of a real fear that sneaks in and takes over. In fact, I was given a daily devotional- type book with a page a day for a year. It has sold literally millions of copies, was found in many bookstores in the mainstream. However, upon researching the author, I discovered that years later she ended up losing her focus due to her success and ended up divorced, broke and broken. And as you mention so powerfully here, if she had kept God in His proper place in her priorities, things could have turned out differently. Humility is a challenging school for the Christian...yet also quite productive if we are open to the lessons it holds us near to. Thank you again for your post! Justine T.

  2. Thanks Justine for your comment. I agree humility is challenging. Think of Biblical characters who made huge impacts - Joseph, Moses, Paul ... and the lessons of humility they had to learn. May that great crowd of witnesses who have gone before us be a lesson we learn rather than having to go through it ourselves.