Many years ago, a promising Greek artist named Timanthes was under the instruction of a well-known tutor. After several years, the young painter created an exquisite portrait. He was so thrilled with what he had painted that he sat day after day gazing at his work.
One morning, however, he was horrified to discover that his teacher had deliberately ruined his painting. Angry in tears, Timanthes ran to him and asked why he had destroyed his cherished possession. The wise man replied, “I did it for your own good. That painting was good, but it was retarding your progress. It is an excellent piece of art. But it was not perfect. Start again and see if you can do even better”. The student took his advice and produced a masterpiece called sacrifice of Iphigenia regarded by some as one of the finest paintings of antiquity. - From anonymous author
This is a feeling of fulfillment. Some pastors were able to raise a congregation of one thousand members, own two big cars, a personal building, a permanent site for the church and perhaps a nursery/primary school. All these get into their heads. He now sees himself as one of the “Gs”of the land. The great man of God. Instead of thinking of what to do to enlarge his coast further, begins to arrange for his bishopric enthronement and to make pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The man who built his church by compassion and humility now feels too big to see ordinary people. He rather busies himself on how to meet the governor and commissioner to visit his church. This is not only so with ministers.
A young man manages to furnish a bedroom flat and a shop with goods. This gets into his head and he stops thinking of building further.
Some brethren head a particular arm of the church that is in great demand. They have arrived. They begin to be rude at those who come for prayers, boasting and all that goes with it.
A young girl looks at herself in the mirror and thinks she is beautiful and perhaps has a good job or wealthy parents, she says, “Before I give attention to any man he must …”
In all the examples stated above they stopped moving in order to celebrate their achievements. When you stop, you may not know that you are dying, stagnation sets in.
See how Apostle Paul resisted this –
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead. I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Phil.3: 12-14)
The apostle said he has not obtained that for which he was called. Possibly he had achieved some things, but that was not why he started in the first place. Some preachers will relax when they get a visa to the U.S.A, some will slow pedal when they get a big car and a congregation that is sizeable. I wish to state that everything you have achieved, which keeps you from fulfilling the original call upon your life is a distraction from the devil.
The terrible side of this achievement factor is that most of the things you treasure will begin to depreciate with time, and when you decide to rise again to do it the way you did it at first, you discover you can no longer do so. Then you enter the painful side of stagnancy. That you won ten souls into the church should encourage you to ask the pastor for permission to plant a branch. Do not sit in the congregation to show up. That you were able to fast for seven days and perhaps achieve some spiritual success should encourage you to move further.
That you made "A" class in your course should encourage you to move on to something else. Do not stand to count those you are better than, strive to meet those better than you.
In a race one thing you are advised against is to look back at those behind you. Achievers syndrome sets in when you begin to count those behind. It is in that process you stop to celebrate. There is nothing wrong in appreciating God for his goodness, but watch your heart (Prov. 4:23).
When Paul said, “I press on, striving, straining forward”, all these suggest great efforts. Achievements have a way of blowing your ego, resist it. Whether in the ministry, personal life, school, office, career, etc. RESIST THE ENEMY.
Excerpt from my book OVERCOMING THE MONSTER CALLED STAGNATION
Emma your brother @PNUR