Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God … when you have eaten and are full and have built and occupied good houses.
— Deuteronomy 8:11-12
King David fell victim to what might be called “the middle-aged syndrome” of success and sex. How many people I have known who have followed in his train—individuals who once walked well. Like David, they had endured all of the temptations that arise out of adversity with reasonable success, but now a whole new set of temptations come—the temptations that arise from prosperity.
Flush with success, the devil breathes his deceitful whispers in our ears and we begin to tell ourselves, “I’ve done well. I have succeeded in my business. I have worked hard and I have arrived. And I deserve something better out of life now than what I have been getting.”
The tempter whispers, “Why not trade in your wife, too, as you did the house and car for a new model? After all, she’s been giving you a lot of trouble at home anyway. Just think how other people treat you. You are well-respected, but not at home.” And you go on to tell yourself, “Yeah, criticism, nagging, that’s all I get. She doesn’t know how great I am; how successful I’ve been; how hard I’ve worked. Others appreciate it—especially that young secretary down the hall.”
The middle-aged syndrome: success, sex, and sin. May God grant us grace to resist the temptations that arise from success.