Success versus Faithfulness

mother teresa“God has not called us to be successful, He has called us to be faithful.” –Mother Teresa

Do you agree with her? Do you think that Mother Teresa, whose ministry touched millions, knew what she was talking about?

Or how about the Scriptures? Did you know that the words “faithful” and “fruitful” occur in the Bible 78 and 35 times respectively, whereas the word “successful” doesn’t appear even once?

OF COURSE we want to be successful. OF COURSE we want to do a good job, hit the bull’s eye, be effective, etc., etc. But we’re not supposed to worship success. And it’s not supposed to be our highest aim.

Faithfulness is.

It is possible to be successful without necessarily being faithful; however, it is impossible to be truly faithful without touching success. God’s definition of success isn’t derived from strategic thinking workshops or effective branding campaigns; it’s defined as faithfully discharging the duties of our calling.  Many of the most successful police officers, parents, educators, friends, business owners, or neighbors will never dance in the spotlight. Their lives and ministries will be conducted in relative obscurity, unchased by news crews or paparazzi. They will be “known” somewhere else.


“Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed His name. ‘They shall be mine,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘in the day when I make up my treasured possession.'” (Malachi 3:16-7)

Let’s beware the siren of success, opting rather for faithfulness where success is merely a byproduct.


3 thoughts on “Success versus Faithfulness

  1. Hello Mr. Jackson, I don’t know if this is appropriate or not, but here goes. First off your two minute videos are very inspiring. Over a year ago I had a granddaughter come stay with me hoping I could help her with her addictions, some prescription, some street drugs. Well, she was very disobedient. She went out got on heroin she was raped. With the help of a friend we got her in a detox place from there into a Christian shelter for battered women. She did real well while there, but due to her mental issues as well, they made her leave. She came back to stay with me, and again she rebelled against me. We got her in an all women’s rehab, but I never saw her improving. She was there six months and that was as long as she could stay. She wanted to come back to my place but I said no. They found a shelter for her, but it was in a bad area and not a Christian facility. Plus it was men and women which was not a good place, drugs all around. She left there and is supposedly on the streets, but I’m not sure. She’s always wanting money from me and food. I have given food and money, but I can’t do this any longer. She’s very disrespectful too me all the time. I’m 74 and on a very fixed income. I’ve offered her to come here again, with the understanding there are rules, she doesn’t want that because she claims she’s an adult. She’s 29 years of age but doesn’t seem to get it. She came here from Texas. Her mom & dad made her leave their home. She’s been in 3 or 4rehabs back there. I’ve searched and searched for a place for her, but unless you have thousands and thousands of dollars, there is no where to turn. I have prayed and prayed for her and even have prayer chains going for her. What to do? I guess I’m writing you because you being a pastor I’m sure you have seen this type of behavior yourself. I have talked to pastors here no one seems to have any answers for me. I thought maybe if I reached out to you maybe you could guide me of where I can go or do. While she was in the Christian shelter I saw big changes in her. She was there for six months. She was out a week and back to her same old ways. Thank you for listening. God Bless and thank you! Sincerely, Willetta

    Sent from my iPad


    1. Thank you so much for sharing such a vulnerable post. I’m so sorry to hear about the pain that your granddaughter (and YOU) have experienced. I don’t have any new wisdom. It sounds like you’ve done and are doing everything that you can. Where are you located? If you don’t mind, send me an email with your granddaughter’s location and I will see if I know of any resources in that area. Email me at 🙂

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