Faithfulness, not success

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“God doesn’t ask that we succeed in everything, but that we are faithful. However beautiful our work may be, let us not become attached to it. Always remain prepared to give it up, without losing your peace.” – Blessed Mother Teresa

It seems like every time I flip through the channels on the TV I come across endless numbers of “preachers” with the same old “health and wealth” message. It’s sad. They convince people that worldly success is the goal and result (or at least the indicator) of being a good Christian. This could not be further from the authentic Christian message – yet this is what many people see and believe. It just sets them up for disappointment and ends up undermining what faith they do have.

I love how this quote keeps that in perspective. Our primary goal should not be to have success – whatever form that might take. It should be to remain faithful throughout.

Whether we succeed or fail on a particular task is often times out of our control. That’s why, no matter how much we succeed, there is ultimately no peace in it. In fact, often times with great success we are less peaceful. We come to rely on our success so much that we live in fear of it being taken away at any moment.

On the other hand, our faithfulness is totally under our control. No matter what happens in this world – who becomes president, whether or not I have a job, if I lose my entire savings in an economic crisis, if something I’ve been working towards my entire life ultimately fails in the end – I can still remain faithful. That is always under my control. And that is all that God asks. That is the ultimate peace in life. That’s what we were made to do.

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Becky December 3, 2008 at 10:44 am

One of my favorite quotes from Mama T : )

Paul Nichols December 3, 2008 at 1:02 pm

You’ll notice that all those “health and wealth” salesmen (and women) are Protestants.

In my journey back to the Faith, I made my way through a protestant church. One particular aspect of the protestant “faith” or amalgamation thereof, is this belief that if THEY are committed to something, or if THEY believe in something, that God WANTS this for them.

If I succeed in my card business, does that mean that it’s what God wants be to be doing? Not necessarily. If a business fails, is it because God “wanted” it to fail, or because maybe you just weren’t a good enough Christian? Plenty of protestants believe that sort of thing.

But I suppose, if you’re not on the ARK, anything’s possible…

Lisa November 5, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Paul,

Is it possible to come together in untiy as Christians rather than judging one church or another? There is corruption everywhere – I don’t think the Protestants can be blamed for anything in particular.

Blaise Alleyne December 4, 2008 at 5:11 am

Or, the way our society measures “success” is terribly flawed:
http://blaise.ca/blog/2008/11/06/success-love-and-self-worth/

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