Read Genesis 39:2-3
2 The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man; he was in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 His master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hands. (NRSV)
There is nothing at all wrong with being successful. Joseph is a good example of someone who prospered as a result of his faithfulness to God. We may rightly question the extreme versions of the so-called ‘prosperity gospel’, but let’s never forget that God is able and willing to bless us materially.
Problems arise with the attitudes we have to success and prosperity and power. If we genuinely seek to love God and others and these things fall into our hands, we should receive them gratefully. However, if we are ambitious for success or prosperity or power as ends in themselves, we become corrupted.
Those who aspire to top positions in the church or the world need to get their priorities right. What am I really seeking? Whose interests am I really serving? What is the core of my ambition? Far too often, people climb to the top of the greasy pole with very mixed motives. And the more corrupting motives can so easily win out.
John Wesley once said, “The highest offices of State and Church resemble a pyramid whose top is only accessible to two sorts of creatures: reptiles or eagles.” Be an eagle.