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The Spiritual Man, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

68- Elements of success

 

+ The first thing is the blessing and obedience to the commandment.

As it was said about Joseph the Upright in his prosperity : The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man (Gen 39:2). And that : The Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand (Gen 39:3).

Search for the prosperity that comes to you from God, from Gods fellowship with you in your work, or from Gods gift for you, or as a reward from God for obeying His Commandments...

Remember the Lords saying to Joshua the son of Nun: This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success (Josh 1 :8).

+ Concern yourself, before anything, with the spiritual prosperity.

Your success in fighting against the devils and your inner victory over yourself. Also your success in getting rid of your bad habits, and of all your weaknesses, your shortcomings and your falls... Also your success in avoiding facing evil with evil, but as the Holy Bible said: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good (Rom 12: 21).

Your success in controlling your tongue, controlling your senses, controlling your feelings and controlling your nerves...

+ Prosperity also needs the strong heart. It needs the personality that is not weak... The one that is not defeated by problems but who overcomes them. The one who does not get disturbed before them or becomes afraid. As David the Prophet said: Though an army should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear. Though war should rise against me, in this I will be confident (Ps 27:3)... The calm thought , the calm nerves and the calm soul... all these are the elements of prosperity...

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Prosperity also needs wisdom and intelligence.

Many fail in their spiritual, financial or family life or in their dealings due to lack of wisdom and good behaviour; or due to the lack of discretion in the spiritual conduct. Such people need guidance and submission to a careful and wise fatherhood. They need prayers that God may guide them in His ways and grant them wisdom from above, from the Father of Light...

+ Prosperity is also related to a divine justice that says:

Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap (Gal 6 :7).

+ Prosperity also needs faith and prayers.

And so, as the Lord said: All things are possible to him who believes (Mk 9:23). And as St Paul the Apostle said: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13) . Therefore abide in the Lord, be with Him, so He also will be with you, granting you His blessings. And prosperity is among His blessings...

Ask always for Gods help and He will help you to prosper...

+ In order to be prosperous, you have to remain firm till the end.

And if you missed a chance, seek another, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. And if the devil and all his soldiers waged war against you, plotted all their intrigues to make you fail..., do not fear. Say with the Psalmist: If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would have swallowed us alive... Blessed be the Lord who has not given us as prey to their teeth (Ps 124).

The prosperous person does not ever despair. Even if he failed in the first steps, he rises again... As it was said that: A righteous man may fall seven times and rise again (Prov 24 :16) . It means that no matter how many times he may fall, he still rises again.

+ To become prosperous, place before you always the lives of prosperous people.

That is to consider them as models for yourself and to follow their example . Also to know the means of their prosperous life, the manner of their success and its aspects...

These models of prosperity could be in all aspects of life: the spiritual, the social, the family or private.. And do not forget the effect of the lives of the saints.

Remember that you are in Gods image, and the one who is in the image of God has to be prosperous.

Therefore, the one who is unsuccessful, the failure or the flunking, is not in Gods image, because the one who is in the image of God is...: Like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season... And whatever he does shall prosper (Ps 1). And so it was said about Joseph the Upright: The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man (Gen 39 :2).

Say to yourself: If I do not prosper in my life, then there is no doubt that I have lost my divine image and also the perfection that God requires from us by saying : Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect (Mt 5 :48).

 

That is from the positive side. As for the negative side, do not forget that if you are not successful in your life, you will consequently become a stumbling block in any surroundings you live in, whether the family, the church, the service or the work. You will be a stumbling block to people who will ask in amazement: Is that how God's children are?!


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