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Success and Faithfulness

A few more thoughts on this book I've been reading...

In his commentary on the Parable of the Serving Master (Luke 12:35-38), Kenneth E. Bailey presents a profound truth that has really stuck with me:
"Christians are called on to be faithful, not successful, and obedience is more important than production." (Page 375)
I have to confess, so much of my life (or at least my intentions) is consumed by productivity, or at least wanting to be productive. There is something strange about this idea though, because I think we all derive a certain degree of satisfaction from a busy day full of accomplishments, even as mundane as paying bills or a DMV visit. I truly feel accomplished when I set out to wash the dishes and do the laundry, and actually do it. If I can then accomplish something creative...? I go to bed feeling so satisfied from something like finishing a video or writing a blog.

The problem, I think, is that this "good feeling" often overrides pursuing God, or even including God in what I'm doing. And again I'm back to the same question I always ask: Where does this fit into the demanding pursuit of creative passions as a career? How often does trying to make art a job turn into more about money than calling? As I said in the last post, there is good and bad on both sides, and maybe we're not all called to our art; but what if you are called to something that won't make you money -- will you still do it? Moreover, will you do it while maintaining another job to pay the bills, essentially working double hours to follow something God asked you to do?



As I look at my life, I feel like God wants me to make music (I don't even like bringing that up, really, but it's what's going on right now so I'll be honest). But currently I'm trying hard to make money with music, rather than just be obedient to God, or bring glory to him. Maybe the two are connected, or maybe not, but again I have to bring in this metric of, am I trying to be successful or faithful? Furthermore, even if music is something I'm supposed to do, don't I have other callings that come first -- my wife and kids, for example? How often do these things get trumped because I want to be creative?

I asked God for a vision for music and he gave me some pretty cool images that were more about making his name known than me being rich or successful or productive. I think that we have to constantly reevaluate what success looks like for us through the lens of the bible and prayer. Maybe, if you're the kind of person who has read this far in what feels like a very introspective and self-focused blog post, we can help each other with keeping the two in check.

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