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When Success Leads to Failure

"Then he [Jesus] said to them, 'Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.'"1

"Saul DeVries was a billionaire who made his fortune during the great depression. Born of immigrant parents, he grew up in poverty. But as a young adult he had an idea, a vision of how he might become a rich man. Realizing that in the depression years, people were unable to buy new appliances or to remodel their kitchen and bathrooms, DeVries decided what was needed was a single product that would clean appliances and keep things sparkling. So, he invented an all-purpose cleaner, the 1st of its kind, called Spic and SpanŽ. It sold well throughout the depression years and continues to do so today. Saul DeVries made billions from his vision and literally cleaned up!"2

I also read that, when he died, in accordance with his will his body was cremated and the ashes were poured down his kitchen sink. Although Saul DeVries was a billionaire, because he didn't know Jesus Christ as his Savior, his life went down the drain, as it were. He is said to have died a miserable man.

There is nothing wrong with becoming a billionaire as long as money is not the controlling factor in one's life, and providing one's money is put to constructive service. As God's Word, the Bible, reminds us, "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"3

A sobering thought indeed? The same principle applies not only to the rich and famous but also to so many athletes, movie stars, some political leaders, etc., who have reached the pinnacle of success in this life, but have never committed their life to Jesus Christ and received God's forgiveness for all their sins and God's gift of eternal life.

Suggested prayer: Dear God, please help me to keep my priorities straight and in harmony with your purpose for my life, and help me to invest my life in a worthwhile cause that will bring glory to you. And please help me to be absolutely certain that my sins are forgiven and that I will spend eternity in Heaven with you forever.* Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully in Jesus' name, amen."

*For help be sure to read the article, "How to Be Sure You're a Real Christian" at:

1. Luke 12:15 (NIV).
3. Mark 8:36 (KJV).


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.