3 Reasons Why Faithful Is the New Radical

This is a guest post by Daniel Darling. He is the Senior Pastor of Gages Lake Bible Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and is the author of iFaith, Connecting with God in the 21st Century. You can read his blog or follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

If there is anything that marks my generation of leaders, it’s the desire to be “radical”—to violently overthrow old paradigms. We want to shake up the status quo in the church, in government, in business, in philanthropy. And this is good.

Close Up of Woman Jogging - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/nycshooter, Image #15768000

By and large millennial Christians want offer lives in service to God and others by offering new and creative solutions. This is good.

But if I could speak a word of caution, from one rabble-rouser to another, I would say that sometimes the most radical thing you can do with your life is to simply be faithful.

Yes, you heard that right. By consistently doing the same thing every single day you might be more radical than you think. I know that doesn’t sound very sexy, but it’s the stuff that gives weight to significant social movements.

1 Corinthians 4:2 says that God holds his people accountable, not for the big splashy things they’ve done, but for simple faithfulness:

In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one [of them] be found faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2, HCSB)

So to my fellow young leader, here are three ways your faithfulness just might impact your world:

  1. Your Personal Peace. Activists rarely like to sit down. There’s always one more report to write, one more blog post, one more conversation, one more educational opportunity. And yet a restless soul is an inefficient soul.

    Jesus Christ, the only perfect person who ever lived, took time to daily cultivate his inner life. He rested. He prayed. He relaxed. And you are not better than Jesus.

    Faithfully cultivating your inner life with God is the most important part of your mission. If you neglect this, you will burn out and your impact will be severely lessened.

    The most effective change agents realize their mission is not theirs, but God’s and is fueled by His supernatural power.

  2. Your Personal Presence. I once heard Chuck Swindoll say, “Leadership has more moments of the mundane than the magnificent.” The dirty secret of success is the ability to just show up. Day after day. Week after week. Year after year.

    The world is full of people who show spurts of greatness only to yield to laziness or indifference.

    Talented quitters are a dime a dozen, but people with marginal talent who commit to hard work in the day-to-day grind always stand out as radical.

  3. Your Pleasant Personality. Determine to be the one guy at the airline ticket counter or the scene of the accident who doesn’t act like a jerk. Sure, we all hears stories of great men and women who fly off the handle and treat their employees like dirt. But those are historical anomalies.

    Over time, a constant, even attitude of servanthood and humility will attract others to your cause. What’s more, if you can let go of yourself and see your life as just one spoke on God’s great wheel of Providence, you’ll realize the people around you are instruments of His grace. Yes, even the annoying and the incompetent and the rude.

    The world is full of diners who snap at waiters, hacked off employees, and belligerent leaders. But a person of winsome, gracious love will, in the end, rise in influence and walk thru doors left shut by those who refuse to control their anger.

So you see how you can change the world? Starting your radical mission by being faithful where you are, to the people in your sphere of influence. It’s a myth that change agents are above the rules. No, if you look closely, they just more consistently apply the simple graces that form a life of deep impact.

Question: Where do you need to practice greater faithfulness? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    I have discovered that to faithfully love God with everything I have and to faithfully love my neighbor as I love myself brings everything else into balance.

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      It does, Patricia. And to know that God blesses a life of consistent faithfulness keeps us from despairing when things seem slow and mundane. 

  • BillintheBlank

    They consistently apply the simple graces…well, put. I just posted on that very thing — the secret of the drip.  http://buff.ly/KKdfvr

    I can relate to your wisdom about getting so caught up in the busyness of doing more — and there is always more — that I can easily forget the reason I am doing it all in the first place.

    Thanks for the reminder. Well written. Great post!

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Bill, 

      Thanks for the kind words. By the way, I just heard Hugh Hewitt mention the study guide you wrote for In, But Not Of. Great stuff. 

  • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

    I like what you said about personal peace: “a restless soul is an inefficient soul”. How true is that! Our loving Father loves to see us leading peaceful lives. It’s not about being lazy. It is the result of our sweet fellowship with Him!

    Thanks for the post, Pastor Daniel.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com/ Cyberquill

    The desire to rebel presents a built-in dilemma, for to rebel against one group or mindset invariably means conforming with another. This realization was my primary source of frustration in my teenage years: I could either throw in with the grownups or with my peers; either way, I’d be a sheep. 

    Jesus Christ, the only perfect person who ever lived, …

    The only perfect person with a team of Boswells to immortalize his exploits, for all we know.

  • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

    Fantastic post, Daniel!  

    I often feel down when nothing exciting is happening in my “ministry” at work.  I keep looking for the next high and get a little discouraged if I have to wait too long.  

    Your post reminds me that this is a long race, not a sprint!  I simply need to keep putting one faithful foot in front of the other.  If I will do this, I will still experience the highs, but I will also find myself much further along with more impact as the days go by.  It is the Tortoise and the Hare all over again, right?!?

    Thanks for the reminder!

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Chris, 

      I often get similarly discouraged, especially during long seasons of the same thing. But when I read about great men both in the Bible and in history, I’m reminded that God blesses a long life of consistent obedience. 

      • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

        A simple idea, but not an easy task.

        Thanks for the teaching!

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      Chris, I like how you described life as “a long race, not a sprint”. So it’s not just about the glorious destination but it is also about the glorious journey.

      • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

        Absolutely, Joe!

        My best analogy is a recent trip I took with my 15 yr. old son. We flew from Atlanta (home) to Los Angeles, picked up a Mustang convertible we had purchased, and drove it cross-country back to Atlanta.

        Technically, it was just over 2,000 miles from beginning to end. If we stuck to the interstate and drove 600 or 700 miles per day, we could have made the trip in 3 days. That would have been the most efficient and least expensive way to go.

        Instead, we took Route 66 as often as we could. We visited sites we had never seen before, places we had always wanted to go. We ate food that should have killed us! All the while, we continued to head toward home…just not in a hurry!

        Joe, neither he nor I will ever forget that trip. It took us 6 days, over 2,500 miles, and more than 1,300 pictures to get home. In the process, we arrived home safely with memories we will never forget!

        I would not trade that trip for 10 of the more efficient trips! It was indeed a journey!

        • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

          Wow! That’s unforgettable, kind of once-in-a-lifetime trip! And you both made it more enjoyable by enjoying it all the way. Great life lesson. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story, Chris.

  • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

    I need to be more faithful in my prayer time.  Like many I can let the tyranny of the urgent seep into my time speaking to my creator.  Then I begin to work under my own strength not His.  That is never a good recipe.

    • http://joeandancy.com/ Joe Abraham

      I fully agree with you, Dave. I found something interesting: prayerless days are normally unproductive days! I don’t want another day like that :)

  • http://chrisvonada.info/ chris vonada

    I need to keep in tune with seeking God’s will instead of trying to overpower it with mine… while mine may have good intentions, his way is always the best way. I really enjoyed reading this inspiring post today Daniel, thank you!!

  • http://www.endgamebusiness.com/blog Steve Borek

    I agree, the challenge is being consistent. This where most people fall  short. One day they show up as a leader and the next a jerk. This tells your team you’re not being authentic. This means they’re not going to willingly follow you.

  • http://www.robstill.com Rob Still

    Great post and solid advice Daniel. My experience is that developing a patient attitude and making a long term, all-in commitment brings about sustainable change.

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      I like that phrase, “sustainable change.” 

  • http://www.whiteboardbusiness.com/ Dallon Christensen

    Personal peace is something we all need, but we have to be VERY conscious and intentional about it. The biggest issue I see is how too many of us, myself included, spend too much time reacting to life’s events instead of creating a plan and sticking to that plan as life swirls around us. I know that when I map my day and stick to what I intend to do, I become much more productive.

    As Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

    • Donald

      Love the wisdom found in those 80’s movies!

  • http://missionallendale.wordpress.com/ Joey Espinosa

    Point #3 really hits me hard. I am that guy who is usually a jerk in that situation. Ugh.

    • http://jeremystatton.com/ Jeremy Statton

      I’ve been there too, Joey.

      • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

        I have too. It’s easy to join the chorus and everyone will justify it. Then I think that being kind in a difficult situation is so rare, that it will stand out as radial and beg people to ask why and what motivate us. 

  • Terry A. Brown

    Thank you Michael for speaking to most of “us” who aren’t the quarterback, the owner of a new tech company or an inventor of a new brand of coffee! We are believers who live a blessed but hard life and need the encouragement to keep keeping on! To keep our walk close to God and keep our family and relationships  top priority! 

  • Kim Hall

    I’m reminded of the parable in which the flashy hare lost to the steady and patient turtle. Baby steps strengthened with gratitude and joy will take us all a very long way. Thanks for the pointers!

  • http://scottkantner.com Scott Kantner

    Daniel,  Thanks for the reminder that we what we need to do is right under our nose, within our grasp, and doesn’t require us to try to be someone we’re not.

  • http://twitter.com/Al_Nab Nabeel Tahir

    Point number 2 is spot on. I have observed this many times in myself that I show spurts of greatness, genius and as close to an ideal person that I wish to be but then I succumb to procrastination relegating myself to a previous position than the present one. 
    So I need to practice greater faithfulness with myself and my personal goals hence brining myself in a position to achieve my professional and life goals.

    Thanks for the article, Daniel. 

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Yes, I’ve learned to pair down my commitments and invest fully in a few areas of strength. It is important to finish a few things rather than leave a lot of things unfinished. 

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    Amen, Daniel. Loved this post.  As Christians, we believe those faithful in the small things, will be found faithful in the large things.  Faithfulness is a sign of character, a fruit of the spirit, and our faithfulness blesses those in relationship with us, as well as us. It truly can impact the world.  Thank you.

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Kelly, thanks for the kind words. You’re exactly right. This is something I’m learning as I get older: the value of faithfulness. 

  • http://www.theprudentlife.net/ Leslie Allebach

    A timely message for our culture — and for me, too!

  • AC

    As Super Bowl Coach, George Allen said, “consistency is the truest measure of performance”

  • http://www.tamedingtonshaw.blogspot.com/ Tammie Edington Shaw

    Great thoughts, Dan, to remind us of how simple things can be profound and impact those around us!

  • Calum maclean

    This was a great posting and if I tried to list all the reasons why my “thank you” would be longer than the actual posting.

    So Daniel, I hope you somehow feel how big my small Thank you is.

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Calum, 

      I do feel it. Thanks for kinds words. 

    • http://twitter.com/eccle0412 Jackie Anderson

       ditto
      Thank you!
      I have tasks to be faithful in.

  • Dave Marzak

    Great post! so easy to be tempted to try and be “radical” just for the sake of “being radical”!

  • http://twitter.com/BrookeWrites Brooke McGlothlin

    I don’t usually comment here (I lurk :) but just wanted to say that this is the BEST thing I’ve read in the blogosphere in years. It’s simple, profound, biblical truth. And it couldn’t have come at a better time for my family. My husband read it (who never reads blogs) and was blessed because of a difficult time he’s going through with his job right now. Thank you!

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Wow, what a compliment. Thank you so much Brooke. I appreciate it. 

  • http://twitter.com/NickiKoziarz Nicki Koziarz

    Daniel, this is powerful. Thank you for sharing these wise words. Soaking this in today, “The world is full of diners who snap at waiters, hacked off employees, and belligerent leaders. But a person of winsome, gracious love will, in the end, rise in influence and walk thru doors left shut by those who refuse to control their anger.”

  • Sue Gehm

    That’s it! You said it! The illusive “thing” that I can never quite put my finger on. Great people, wonderful ideas, down deep they want to serve, but FAITHFUL? That’s what’s missing. Ask me to be faithful and show up day in and day out and do the mundane sometimes, and the ordinary business of life? Now you’re asking for a lot! Thank you for your post. It lifted me up and I will share with those who often don’t get noticed for their faithfulness. God notices:)

  • http://www.theemptyinbox.com/ Michael Hawkins

    Daniel –

    Great insights!

    I really connected with your “a restless soul is an inefficient soul” statement  That is how I would describe myself on many days.

    Slowing down and focusing on the important stuff would serve me well.  I’ve seen and heard this message several times in the past few weeks.  You think God might be trying to tell me something?

    Thanks again for the great post!

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      That sounds like me! Usually it takes a few of God’s blowhorns to get my attention. Glad you enjoyed it. 

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

    Daniel, this is a great post. I also call it standing out from the crowd in a manner that will glorify God. In every action that I take, I often ask myself Is this something that GOD would do? Thanks Daniel for the post.

  • http://www.faughnfamily.com/ Adam Faughn

    We live in a world that is so inconsistent, so a consistently faithful life is rare. It truly does stand out from the crowd, and makes people notice. Great thoughts!

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Lincoln, Adam, you’re so right. Consistency and faithfulness will make you stand out as rare. 

  • Kat

    Then sings my soul as I read your post…thank you so much for keeping the main thing the main thing!  It is so easy to get into warp speed – a new book to read, a new phrase for the status update, twenty tweets or more a day :-(  – it can be exhausting and the voices in our head threaten the still small voice that has been saying “follow me, walk this way”.  Day in, day out…this is not our final destination and I want to be worthy for the long haul!

  • Dan Erickson

    Nice post.  It’s nice to see a post that puts faith over success.  By the way, if you think talking about “faith” isn’t sexy, try talking about “forgiveness.”  I’ve written a book about surviving being a child victim of a cult and later forgiving my enemies.  “A Train Called Forgiveness” is available at Amazon, but getting people excited about forgiveness is a challenge.  But what is faith without forgiveness?  I also have a blog about writing @ http://www.danerickson.net 

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Dan, I’m going to check out that book. You are right. Forgiveness is so difficult, especially in tough situations like yours. Thanks for the tip. 

  • Laska

    I need to practice faithfulness by focusing on one thing at a time, not robbing my faith, my family or my work by “multi-tasking” so much.

  • joanpball

    Thank you for the thought-provoking post. Here is the challenge. Being faithful involves both attending to the mundane and having the courage to take bold steps and color outside the lines. There is Biblical precedent for both. This points to the importance of discernment, the cultivation of which has rarely and often poorly been taught/discussed in many American churches over the past several decades. As such, the young people (and older people by the way) that I talk to can tell me in great detail what it is they do to serve the poor or orphans in Africa, or their own families or the community, but they can rarely explain why it is they chose what they are doing over the dozens of other choices and possibilities contained in the scriptures. The church/blogs/Christian publishing perpetuates this lack of confident discernment by focusing on helping people find their strengths, the passions of our hearts and promoting the use of business tactics to follow Jesus in the world, ignoring that much of what was accomplished by the champions of the faith involved throwing down the things they were good at and the best practices of the day and following obediently into the unknown feeling entirely unequipped. So yes, tending to the mundane may be what obedience and faithfulness looks like if the mundane is what God is calling us to do. Shaking things up may also be faithfulness if that is what God is calling us to do. In fact, like Jesus, we are sometimes called to do both in the very same day. This leaves each and every one of us with much to discern. Otherwise we risk mistaking God’s will for our lives for a true north of our own making…finding Biblical precedent for our actions and claiming that we are taking them in the name of Jesus. And we all know how dangerous that can be…

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Joan, good point. You can shake things up AND be consistent and faithful. The key is this: when you make a big change–stick with it and see it through to the end. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/WVCNPastor Bruce Barnard

      Great reply…thanks for being willing to step out from the mundane and into the Spirit…

  • http://www.prosperproject.org/ Erica Pyle

    As a church planter (one of the hats I currently wear!) this is such an important reminder. You can get very caught up with the next big event or how to draw more people, but the reality is that God does the drawing. When we set ourselves to be peaceful, faithful and present as the people arrive, we’ll have a better chance of helping them to stay connected to the local church. Thanks for this!

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Erica, 

      I’m a pastor of a small church myself and I know the feeling. It can be discouraging. I’m having to remind myself that God blesses faithfulness and diligence over the long haul. 

  • Dave

    Daniel – As a Pastor myself, I am convinced that faithfulness IS the best expression of radical living! Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://www.thegeezergadgetguy.com/ Thad Puckett

    Sometimes I wonder if radical for radical’s sake alone is  more hype than substance.  Radical with impact?  That is something the world desperately needs.  These three points drive that home.

  • http://www.communicationartistry.ca/ Marnie Hughes

    This is a beautiful sentiment for mothers to hear. They go through endless hours of thankless drudgery and are justly rewarded by a smile, a hug, an ‘I love you’ or the simple knowledge that they are helping cultivate grace, love, and compassion in their children. A strong faith goes MILES in getting her through those days :)

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Marnie, 

      I’m so glad to have encouraged you this way. My wife is a wonderful mother for our four children. It can be long exhausting work. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/berta.dickerson Berta Wiley Dickerson

    My biggest error is not trusting God’s faithfulness in situations concerning my daily health care. He’s been faithful for 21 years yet I still fight the system. “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

  • http://www.simplycaptured.com/ Lynn briggs

    I dig this post and love the reminder that to be powerful is to remember that it is God working through and in me that makes my message effective.  A leader with humility is easy to follow. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=500020106 Steve Schmidt

    Amen to your thoughts, Daniel.

  • http://www.aminutecaptured.com/ Jenny

    This is a great post reaching the business executive, pastor, and even a homeschooling mom like myself.  And me let add not only will these 3 ways impact our own personal choices, but also the choices of those we lead as we set the example.

  • tkbeyond

    Great post! Glad to hear something like this from someone in your generation. I learned many years ago that perseverance and faithfulness are way under valued in our culture, but not in God’s Kingdom.
    thanks!

  • http://www.peaceforthejourney.com/ elaine @ peace for the journey

    I don’t want a sexy faith. I want a solid one… a day after day, one step at a time, hunkered down doing faith all the way through to the finish line. My husband and I have been learning this lesson in the last 2 years of our ministry lives, pastoring a small congregation and discipling them with the truth of Jesus. It’s been the roughest two years of pastoral ministry to date. How grateful we are for all the many years of prior faith investments into our spiritual accounts that have enabled us to stay the course, steady as she goes.

    Great post.

    peace~elaine

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Elaine, 

      If I could encourage you I’d say to hang in there. My wife and I are in ministry as well and we’ve seen some hard years–this year being one. But God is so faithful. 

  • http://www.brandongilliland.com/ Brandon Gilliland

    Wow! This guest post was awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.trailreflections.com/ Chris Peek

    Daniel, thanks for your excellent post, as this is a deep message that we all would be wise to heed and be reminded of. Somewhere along the way, culture discarded the notion of faithfulness and loyalty to both our craft and in our relationships. I’ve heard it said that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. No doubt that means nothing short of diligence and total commitment. 

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      You are so right about the culture, Chris. We value entertainment and the quick thrill over steadiness and faithfulness. 

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  • Kellie

    Thank you so much for posting this…it was a refreshing word that I needed to hear.  I don’t ever want to become complacent but there is something to being content with where God has you for such a time as this.  Faithful is such a powerful word and brings security and peace.

  • Jeremymccommons

    @jeremymccommons, great blog! thanks for your wisdom!

  • http://www.thewordweaver.com/ Deb Weaver

    Incredible truths.  Thank you for writing this.  

  • http://www.christopherneiger.com/ Chris Neiger

    “Faithfully cultivating your inner life with God is the most important part of your mission. If you neglect this, you will burn out and your impact will be severely lessened.” I’ve been thinking about this lately and realizing that I’ve been focusing a lot of my time on my projects, but not making time to develop that relationship. Thanks for the reminder.

  • http://www.anordinarymom.com/ ali @ an ordinary mom

    Thank you, for this. Just, thank you…

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      So glad I could encourage a mom! My wife is a wonderful mom raising our four young children. It’s tireless, tough work. 

  • TylerHess

    all of them…if I’m not wanting to improve on all of them then I’ll just backslide the other way

  • Steveb

    Thank you!  That was a good read first thing this morning!

  • http://www.neilwestbrookblog.com/ Neil Westbrook

    Wonderful words of wisdom and encouragement. As a husband, father and pastor I’ve learned to appreciate the old saying, “Slow and steady.” The longer I’ve worked with people the more I’ve come to appreciate it and practice it! 

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Neil, me too. The older I get, the more I realize the value of steady faithfulness.

  • http://itinerantblogger.wordpress.com/ Reed Hanson

    It’s very hard in our immediate result-oriented world to believe in the power of faithfulness. As a millenial myself, I can relate to the notion of feeling like I need to provide new and creative solutions, when some of the best ideas have worked for centuries and will continue to work if we’re faithful.

    Thanks for the reminder that faithfulness can have an incredible impact, Daniel!

  • Jillian Kent

    Wonderful post, Daniel. I ran away from home to complete my latest novel. It’s amazing what peace and quiet offers. I haven’t listened to the news all week.  What a relief. But as you can tell I’m still checking in on some blogs.

  • ReasonDisciple

    I personally need to practice greater faithfulness with my team. And what I mean by that is I tend to want to minister to the whole world rather than equips my team and my leaders to reach the world, while I help them become better. It’s kind of like the boss that says get out of the way I can do it better. So sometimes I need to let these guys do what they do best and be faithful at feeding and equipping them for the work of the ministry.

  • http://twitter.com/menofmind Aaron Russell

    Great read for newer, over active Christians needing to slow down and pray, and seek a little spiritual wisdom. http://menofmind.com/

  • http://www.nginaotiende.blogspot.com/ Ngina Otiende

    Thought provoking post Daniel (is that your real second name? :))

    My take-home thought today is “God uses the faithful, not activists”. 

    Thanks for this reminder.

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Yes, my name is Daniel Darling. I like your take-home thought. Good word. 

  • http://twitter.com/toddlollar Todd Lollar

    As a collegiate minister/inspirational speaker, i talk with college student all the time who want the “youtube” fame.  Thank you for reminding us to decrease and to live out our purpose of letting Jesus be famous through us.  www.toddlollar.com

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Yes, better to have a life of depth, than width. A life of substance not just flash. 

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Great stuff Daniel.

    I especially like 1 and 2.  Taking time to refresh and relax is def a big part of my day. When you are juggling 10 projects a day, it helps to just stop and walk away and come back with new eyes and thoughts.

    It really is all about showing up.  People see the front and think WOW.  But to get that 5 min of WOW took hours, days even weeks to produce.

    Just like LUCK.. the luckiest people are the one’s putting in the time to make it easier for LUCK to find them.

  • Janet

    Thank you for this post. As a counselor, I listen to folks who prefer a “faithful” mate rather than a “radical” mate who is always looking for the limelight…even if subconsciously. I once heard announce to a crowd, “I’m a servant dude!” My thought is that servants do not need to tell others how radically servant-hearted they are; their lives are that of faithfulness that speaks volumes. 

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Janet, you are so right. 

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    I defintely need to work on #2, it’s easy to get all fired up about something, then fizzle out.

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  • http://www.Godsgracefulness.com/ Janice

    Number 1 convicted me. Ouch. I am no better than Jesus. Thank you!! Love this post.

  • Martha Ramirez

    Great post, Michael! I bought your platform book and am listening to all the goodies that came with it. Thank you! Hoping you get on that best seller’s list!!! You so deserve it!

  • http://twitter.com/davehess Dave Hess

    Great post! In our culture of hyperactivity and constant innovation, sometimes we can miss the more mundane part of what is required for success — consistency! Sometimes we fall into the error of thinking that new is always better or more important than just hanging in there with the basics of what will eventually lead to effectiveness. I’m a big fan of innovation and expansion, but sometimes new is just new (not  actually better).  I share some additional thoughts on this topic, specifically as it relates to those in the world of church planting and missional ministry,  in an article called “Faith to Stay and Build”. http://www.davehess.com/archives/1583

  • http://twitter.com/tammyhelfrich Tammy Helfrich

    Great post. I completely agree! We can all do our part by being faithful where we are and realizing that we can make an impact. Too many of us miss that and think that we have to do something big to make a difference.

    I also love the line, “And yet a restless soul is an inefficient soul”. I am learning how important it is to take time to unplug and be with God and rest.

    Thanks for the great reminder.

  • http://actuallykatie.com/ Katie McAleece

    I love this post because it reminds me of my Dad, and the way he would always tell me to be faithful in the little things. Keep going, do your best, be consistent, don’t give up. This really made me happy. I am encouraged.. so thank you!

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      My Dad was much the same way Katie. It’s where I first saw faithfulness modeled. 

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  • Jason

    Thank you for the enlightenment. It is a difficult life being human surrounded by the many influences that tend to direct our behaviors and actions. We are creatures of emotion more than we are of logic after all, and are driven by these emotions. I find it important to grasp onto self actualization and discipline in order to move past those natural impulses.

    Jason

  • http://thelenexaedifier.wordpress.com/ Jim Stauffer71

    You are spot on and it seems to me the difficulty in following your advice is it goes against the grain for some folks. By that, I mean, even though they both understand and agree with your conclusions, that is just not who they are.

    My belief is we must go to an even more fundamental level and determine who we are. Example: If I am an athlete I accept a restricted life due to the abnormal hours and effort it takes to refine my skills. I am happy doing that and as a result become an excellent athlete. the same principle applies to being a Christian. If that is who I really am in my heart, I will hardly notice the mundane activities that discourage others because that is who I am and what I am about.

  • http://www.getreelprograms.com/ Regina Lowe

    I especially like the reminder to just “show up” day after day after day.  Too often, I find myself wanting to “do great things”, but what is more great than to pray, study, worship; love day after day after day?!  Nothing is.  And, I’m learning that greatness in God is submission to Him.

    • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

      Yes, showing up is radical, isn’t it? 

  • Kingtubbo

    I’m actually having a bit of a tussle with fading faith and fatigue and wondering what I can do to revive myself and whether or not it’s all worth it, and your short piece has given me some much needed perspective. Thanks.

  • Dawn Vesco

    I think that day- to- day show up is a sign of real faithfulness and a celebration of Him.The confidence that under his value system,we recall His acts with such gratitude,we show up no matter what. I like this post because it’s on point and keeps it real.

  • Laurahess

    Wow, what a wonderful post. I needed to be reminded to keep my personality in check. As someone who is a little hyper,and a lot type A, it can be hard for me to slow down and be pleasant. But God is working on me, I am mellowing with age. Thanks!

  • http://ayearinthespirituallife.blogspot.com/ Dayna Renee Hackett Bickham

    Point 3 really resonates with me. I recently wrote about Learning to Shut Up on my blog. http://ayearinthespirituallife.blogspot.com/2012/05/walk-talk-learning-to-shut-up.html 

    The reason I think this is such an important skill is this: we are to win over others with our conversation * (1 Peter 3:1 KJV). In the Good News Translation it says “Conduct”. Either way, what we say or do not say is a direct reflection of Christ. 

    When irritations (small or large) happen, our response can either attract the lost, or scare them away. 

    Remember: they are the moth, we are supposed to be the flame. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/phillipshumake Phillip Shumake

    Love this one!

  • http://twitter.com/pastorjimmyr Jimmy Reed

    I need to be more faithful in my own personal disciplines. I find it easier to serve for a cause, check a box off my do list or plan for the future. I have a hard time carving out time for myself to do the little things I know I need to do like exercise, eat right (meal prep takes forever!) and sleep in on the right side of the clock.

  • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

    Pastor Darling,
    I really needed this post. It really confirmed in my spirit to stay faithful to what God has assigned me to do. The daily implementation of my vision helps grow my faith. Sometimes it gets frustrating because I want things to happen at a much faster pace. I have committed myself to hard work daily to make my vision a reality. Thanks again for an inspiring and empowering post.

  • prophetsandpopstars

    I really “feel” this statement: “Talented quitters are a dime a dozen, but people with marginal talent who commit to hard work in the day-to-day grind always stand out as radical.”

    The challenge is how to figure what gets the hard work and be faithful to that.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/ijustinjohnson Justin Johnson

    This blog really helped me in taking pride in the little, mundane routines and things I decide to do and take on within my day. I truly believe the mere fact of being consistent will be noticed more in the long term than attempting to continuously come up with the next great idea or movement. I believe I need to practice greater faithfulness particularly in the area of trust in God’s plan. My ‘mission is not my own, but God’s and is fueled by His supernatural power.’ Powerfully said.

  • http://www.UnwillingToSettle.com/ Greg L. Gilbert

    Great advice. I do think we are looking for the newest thing out there when faithful has been proven over years and years. Did anyone else see the irony about the advice to be faithful and the writer quoting scripture from the HCSB translation? I had to look that one up. It’s an eight year old translation. Just hit me as funny.  The only difference was the word “manager”. It was “steward” in other translations.  

  • Katina Vaselopulos

    Michael, you are a God-sent “teacher” who more and more validate my writing and my… life! Often doubting that the things I have written about will not be read by anyone, you give me hope and encourage me to share them with others! Living a life of Faith, where thoughts and actions mirror your prayers and beliefs give weight to the mundane, make joy and beauty more intense and the hurdles much easier to surpass. God bless you!

    • Katina Vaselopulos

      Pastor Daniel, Thank you for a great post! You reminded us to live the way we pray, to enjoy every moment of the day, and to make time for silence in a very noisy world!

      • http://danieldarling.com Daniel Darling

        Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad they encouraged you. 

  • http://www.liveitforward.com/ Kent Julian

    Our greatest opportunity for true impact starts in our homes, then our neighborhoods, then our community, then our cities, then our counties, then our state, then our country, then our world. 

    Thanks for the reminder, Michael!

  • http://twitter.com/JessieGunderson Jessie Gunderson

    Well done. What a necessary reminder to not get caught up in the doing but to rest in being and rely on God through the process.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

     “Talented quitters …” an interesting and challenging statement. I hope to not get in that line (I suppose one must start with talent before he can be a talented quitter, nonetheless I prefer “good and faithful servant”). Daniel, I appreciate the thoughtful word you shared. Thank you.

  • Ellen Sorrell

    I awoke this morning after a harrowing dream where I was upset with everything and everyone around me. Not a great way to start the day and as I laid there to shake the feelings that had been stirred in my sleep before starting my day I prayed and talked to God for calmness and peace. I normally wake up ready to face the day with a smile on my face but this dream knocked me off balance so your statement about a restless soul is inefficient truly hit home when I read your post! Relaxing, praying and enjoying the quiet this morning was the “perfect” way to start this beautiful day. Blessings!

  • trochiamoderator

    Great post. For the past few years, my New Year’s resolution has been just a word. Last year, it was courage. I needed courage to become a Jesus radical: a public speaker/teacher/preacher, to start my online Christian ministry, and to ask others to join me in a calling I was barely confident about.  This year, my word is FAITHFULNESS.  

    I have a tendency to get discouraged, fearful and impatient. If I am not faithful, the result is failure or slowing down to a crawl. On the other hand, my workaholic-high achiever obsession is a deadly threat to time with my family, friends, church and God.  Therefore, I wrote these words on my dashboard to help me remain faithful.  

    I can’t tell you how many times I have read those words to remind myself to show up, keep up, lean in, and work; but also to stop working, pray, rest, and love others.I knew that there was a shortage of faithfulness in my life. Daniel, as your post expresses, I’m not alone.  Phew! It is great that you put words to this issue.Thank you for this message.

  • Andy

    Thanks for this reflection, it rings so true – this was the stuff of the desert fathers – deal with the issues in situ, don’t run and hide. In up to date mode, the young people that are not in churches are also in great need of steady reliable faithful witnesses – all they have had to date are constantly changing homes, parents, schools, friends …………   be faithful, not bland but consistent whilst being true about your emotions and people will follow.

  • Becky Jane

    I agree whole heartedly to this post except for one thing…and I say this is a smile on my face!  At the beginning you commented that being faithful isn’t very sexy…my husband and I have been faithfully married to each other for over 30 years and he just keeps getting better and better!

  • http://twitter.com/coloradoajm Adam Miller CFP® CAP

    Great comments from Daniel Darling. I wrote a story about this last week: My Lawn Mower Moment & Actionable Steps Toward Kingdom Impact: http://t.co/klcRh9cA 

    It is interesting how much a shift in your perspective can make life better. This sort of change in life doesn’t just lift you up, but it also leaves a positive mark on those around you. Instead of just a tiny amount of positive improvement, everyone around seems a bit better for having been there with you.

  • http://musingsfromaromaniangirl.wordpress.com/ Chelsea Patterson

    Thank you so much for sharing!! I appreciate it!! I needed this reminder, I am a leader at my college, and work in my local church, and while the desire is definitely in my heart to be a “radical” leader, it is harder to be a faithful leader!! Thanks once again!!

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  • brassworks

    “A person of winsome, gracious love will, in the end, rise in influence
    and walk thru doors left shut by those who refuse to control their
    anger.”

    Also, this person will walk through doors SHUT TO those who refuse to control their anger.

    Thank you for your steady contribution to thoughtful discussion and insight in this world.

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  • http://www.irunurun.com/blog/ Travis Dommert

    Love this, Daniel.  Like you said, it’s not sexy, but undeniable.  Whether you are taking this personally or professionally, the tortoise has a great strategy for success in life.  Same for the hedgehog…keep showing up, do you thing faithfully, keep your priorities straight.  Hope you are well, my friend!  -Travis

  • Christ-following Native

    Speaking of leadership, I have to admit I am still upset that Thompson-Nelson Publishers allowed themselves to be bought out by crooks like Kohlberg & Company.  I’m still confused though, did HarperCollins ever acquire Thompson-Nelson?  For me, that would be an even worse scenario.  Why?  Because their parent company is the News Corporation, which is heavily funded by Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Company.  And we all know how they fund the spread of Islam through force all over the world, in places like Nigeria to Sudan and even Hamas.  Being acquired by HarperCollins would indeed be a horrible thing. 
        Of course, I think us Christians could still do something about it.  Mike, why don’t you try to get in contact with some wealthy Christian men, those who haven’t gone to any big schools, of a more humble background, and see if they would be willing to come together and buy Thompson-Nelson? 
    After this, the board of members needs to set restrictions on who can and cannot buy shares into the company. 

    If you don’t do this, I don’t see how you could possibly sit here and lecture to us about leadership and act so wise.  If you and the others don’t, I will be led to believe you are just in it for making the big money and don’t really care about being Christ-like.  If you and the others don’t, you might as well say you are funding terrorists, and have no right to claim to be a Christian company any more.
     

  • http://burdenofglory.wordpress.com/ Jen

    So simple, yet so profound.  It is difficult not to get lost in all the stuff we feel we need to be doing, and forget the most important thing.  Thanks for your post.

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  • http://twitter.com/David_Gibbs David Gibbs

    Appreciate your encouraging words, Daniel. As a Pastor I feel the pull to “perform” and be on the “cutting edge” of ministry. But the one thing that seems to be a constant call is simple faithfulness to the routine of ministry. Blessings.

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  • http://www.jonstallings.com Jon Stallings

    There clearly are times when we need to shake things up but we need to be careful not to be radical, just be radical. We must remain faithful to our calling, our value and principals. 

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