I believe that the Western philosophy of “success” is anti-spiritual, and is therefore destructive, and dangerous for man. It is propagated by parents to their children; and propounded by the workplace. It is like a freight train that never stops, except on holidays. For all intents and purposes, I want to put “positive thinking” philosophy out of the question right now. I only want to address the normal “success” philosophy as it is taught by American people. That philosophy goes something like this: (1) Parents tell their kids to make As and Bs in grade school. (2) Parents send their kids off to college. (3) Parents pressure their kids to choose a Bachelor’s degree that will help them get a good paying job, develop a career, and make $50,000/year or more. Preferably, a Business or Science degree. (4) Once the Bachelor’s degree has been acquired, and an internship with a fine company has been established–the kids are then led to get a job with a company similar to the one they interned with. (5) Once the company has hired them, preferably at the age of 22 or 23 years of age, they are then pressured to climb the “corporate ladder” all the way to the top. This is accomplished by kissing butts and lots of insincere office politics (i.e., Dale Carnegie‘s How to Win Friends & Influence People). Being super friendly and positive and smiley, never frowning, and never being critical of anyone’s behavior. By making lots of insincere friendships in the office all because its motivated by money and self-promotion.
(6) Eventually, these young chaps are making anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000/year, and don’t know what to do with all of their money. So, they copy everybody else in the workplace: they buy fancy houses, get new cars, buy expensive toys like plasma TVs and boats, go on fancy vacations, go to fine restaurants, and spend money on other pleasures fit for the Middle Class. (7) Then, as is most often the case when they get old–THEY DIE AND GO STRAIGHT DOWN TO HELL (Luke 16:19-31), because they completely forgot about the things of God, and did nothing more than sell their souls to the pursuit of wealth like Ebenezer Scrooge. Jesus asked, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36, NKJV).
From a wholistic view of the human condition, I want to quickly sum up why I think that this worldly philosophy of “success” as it is so-called, is destructive to man’s spirit, soul, and body:
1. Spirit – The most damage is done to the human spirit, because the success philosophy trains people from childhood to be DISTRACTED from spiritual matters. Education and business driven, children and adults of all ages are consumed in thought about getting good grades and becoming business savvy. Math, science, and office politics consume the MIND and THOUGHT LIFE of these people. The mind, it seems, is 100% distracted from things pertaining to the human spirit, namely: divine revelations, dreams, visions, God’s voice, prayer, the Bible, and ethical behavior.
2. Soul – Great damage is also done to man’s soul, which can only be healthy when his spirit is alive and active through faith in Jesus Christ, and an experience of God’s presence. His sleeping spirit gives way to a greedy and selfish soul, who always puts himself first; and walks all over others. This is because he is in darkness, and has not received any of the illumination from God that he should through prayer and Bible study.
3. Body – Not surprisingly, great harm is also done to the physical body, as a result of this so-called philosophy of “success.” Because the man’s spirit, soul, emotions, and thoughts are in a dry state of meaninglessness and selfishness–it causes tremendous social problems. He becomes reclusive or anti-social. If he is a business manager, he is likely rigid, and living in constant tension with his underlings. He’s not joyful or happy; but in mental strife. This produces physical sicknesses brought on by STRESS. He tries to cover it up with his expensive visits to the doctor which he has no problem affording, surgeries, and prescriptions. But at the root of it all–is this apparent philosophy of “success” that directs his whole life. “The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts” (Ps. 10:4, NKJV). And because this is so, the man is a “successful” failure, because he has no peace of God in his heart.