Editorial – The Secret of Christian Success

Many people are striving to be or become successful. Although it is important to be successful, the most important success of all is to be successful in becoming fitted to receive the gift of eternal life. If you gain this, you will gain everything; but if you fail to obtain eternal life, Jesus said, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul” (Matthew 16:26)?

Like Naaman, some people think that success comes by some wonderful or dramatic action, but the truth is just the opposite of this. The secret of success is the faithful conscientious attention to what are called the little things—things that many people consider insignificant. (See John 20:6, 7 and The Desire of Ages, 789.) “Only by faithfulness in the little things can the soul be trained to act with fidelity under larger responsibilities.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 356.

Heaven is a place where each citizen is constantly seeking ways to be of service to others. This world on the other hand is a place where most people serve themselves first and only serve others after themselves. None of these people will be in the kingdom of heaven: “They consent to live for the service of self, and Satan is satisfied.” The Desire of Ages, 130.

“In the great judgment day those who have not worked for Christ, those who have drifted along, carrying no responsibility, thinking of themselves, pleasing themselves, will be placed by the Judge of all the earth with those who did evil. They receive the same condemnation.

“Many who profess to be Christians neglect the claims of God, and yet they do not feel that in this there is any wrong. They know that the blasphemer, the murderer, the adulterer, deserves punishment; but as for them, they enjoy the services of religion. They love to hear the gospel preached, and therefore they think themselves Christians. Though they have spent their lives in caring for themselves, they will be as much surprised as was the unfaithful servant in the parable to hear the sentence, ‘Take the talent from him.’ ” Christ’s Object Lessons, 365.

This is a major reason professed Christians do not receive the Holy Spirit even when they pray for it: “The continual misuse of their talents will effectually quench for them the Holy Spirit, which is the only light.” Ibid.

If we want to receive the Holy Spirit we must be seeking to be about our Master’s business.