3 Reasons God Calls Us to Faithfulness, Not Greatness

Amanda Idleman

Contributing Writer
Published May 30, 2024
3 Reasons God Calls Us to Faithfulness, Not Greatness

God doesn’t call us to greatness. Rather, he calls us to radical faithfulness. We are to live surrendering the outcomes to God and walk with faithful obedience to serve in the roles he has called us to. 

There is this idea in American Christianity that for us to really matter in the Kingdom of God we must become great and do great things. It’s a byproduct of the concept of living by faith, which is biblical, but our biggest faith steps often occur in the most unseen details of our lives. 

A theology that elevates personal greatness is actually an idea rooted in our secular culture that has influenced how we talk about living out our Christian faith. We crave fame, fortune, success, and riches. Every ad, social media platform, and entertainment is pushing the idea that more is more! To matter, we need to be seen; we have to do something great, or we have no value. 

God’s Kingdom teaches something radically different than what we are being told matters most in our secular culture. 

God doesn’t call us to greatness. Rather, he calls us to radical faithfulness

We are to live surrendering the outcomes to God and walk with faithful obedience to serve in the roles he has called us to. God is great, and we are his vessels. All the glory is for Him! 

God Hates a Prideful Heart 

In the Old Testament, the people of God were reprimanded again and again by God for one trait that angered him. This toxic trait was pride! Isaiah 2:12 gets right to the point, saying, “For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low.” Proverbs tells us that God hates pride, it’s evil (Proverbs 8:13). God does not beat around the bush when it comes to matters of the heart. Pride separates us from living a surrendered life in relationship with God. 

Does the Christian narrative you are following promote self-importance? 

Do you feel internally pressured to achieve a certain level of faith in order to please God? 

Does the language you use in your prayers push the idea of a certain level of spiritual success, achievement, or greatness in your community? 

I think many American Christians would confess that a part of the faith tradition they follow is fueled by a pride that says if God loves me, he will elevate me to a certain level of success or greatness. I propose that we should take a second look at how pride and a desire for personal importance impact our faith and take time to discover what God’s word teaches us about how we are to live. Proverbs 11:2 warns, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” 

God Honors Faithfulness 

On the flip side to this biblical warning to the pride that so easily sneaks into our thinking patterns is a promise that the faithful are blessed. Proverbs 28:20 says, “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.” Faithfulness is where we find blessings, the pursuit of wealth without God brings punishment. 

Instead of asking what I can achieve for God, the better question is, what is God calling me to be faithful to? In a recent conversation with some sweet friends we pondered together if we were “doing enough for God'' but my wise friend interrupted this thinking with the encouragement that God had called us to “keep digging our ditches.” This phrase refers to the idea that God is prompting us to keep being faithful in the everyday work of loving others as he first loved us. 

Anything else we get to show up as God’s ambassador for, I like to think of as bonus missions. Even when given the chance to step up and be a leader our heart posture is to be a humble servant leader. Never considering ourselves better than others (Philippians 2:3). 

But the bulk of my Christian walk is not about those bright leadership moments, it’s about faithfully getting up each morning on a mission to serve God with all that I do. It’s being faithful to my husband, raising my kids, being diligent at my work, cleaning my house, checking on friends, and showing love to my neighbors. 

It’s a heart that serves with humility in those ordinary moments that God is calling you to trust him with. The person we are when no one is looking is the one that matters most to God. When we elevate our role, platform, influence, reach, or any other measure of ministry success over the commitment to be a person of character as you wash dishes, send emails, pay bills, and all the other mundane tasks of life we set ourselves up for failure. With pride comes a fall. 

Personal Greatness Is Leading Us Away from God 

The American theology of personal greatness is leading us away from God’s truth. It’s creating a Christian celebrity system that elevates personalities because of how big their fan base is rather than how faithful their walk is with the Lord. The consequences are devastating public moral failures all over the Christian church because we believe that the reach a person has is more important than who the person is. 

2 Timothy 4:3 says, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.” 

In a time when many have a chance to speak, we have to be more discerning than ever on the teachings we follow and the ways we lead others. The fruits of the spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, should define those we follow Jesus (Galatians 5:22-23). This fruit is the sign of a life that is surrendered to Christ. 

Our mission is to get to the end and hear the words, “well done good and faithful servant” from our Maker (Matthew 25:21). This praise given from our God does not count our value from our successes but it’s our faithfulness that he measures when we meet Him in Heaven.

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Chalabala 

Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. She has most recently published a devotional, Comfort: A 30 Day Devotional Exploring God's Heart of Love for Mommas. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.