Passion and Success

Chan Image

Some days, I get frustrated because I’m 36 years old and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I get down on myself for not having a great vision for my life and lacking initiative. But the truth is, I just define success a little differently than some others.

How do you define success?

I know people who define success as having houses, cars, vacations, or simply money to shop online with.

I know other people who don’t have any desire whatsoever to work outside of their home. Instead, they pour all of their time, talent, gifts, and skills into raising and nurturing their children. Because their definition of success is having happy, healthy, successful children.

But then there’s me. I’ve never had a high-paying job. I have no children to pour myself into. So, material things and wonderful children aren’t really “success” for me. So, what’s success for me?

I work for a non-profit organization which has a mission that I strongly believe in. Today, someone asked me why I work for our organization. And while, yes, I’m honest enough to say, “Because I like having a paycheck to put food in my belly and a roof over my head.” I also realize that, for me, a paycheck isn’t enough. If I go home at the end of the day, and I don’t feel like I’ve made a difference, I’m not happy. God has given me a passion for the organization I work for, and for our mission. When I take that passion, and let Him be my strength, then I make a difference. I don’t just bring home a paycheck, I potentially change lives. For me, living a passionate life that makes a difference in the lives of others – that’s success.

I know that at least half of you reading this post haven’t been reading the Francis Chan book with us. And that’s totally okay. But give me a second to summarize the afterword for you:

If you listen to God, He will share with you a passion. If you will take that passion and let the Holy Spirit be the strength within you to move on behalf of that passion, then amazing things will happen.

I’m not really looking to give you answers today—just to get you to ask yourselves the questions.

What does God want you to be passionate about? Will you let Him help you to make that passion into success? What does that success look like?

This post was the final installment in our weekly discussion of Francis Chan’s book, “Forgotten God.” If you have written a response to this post, please visit my co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen, and leave your link at the widget there. Thank you for joining us! We will see you next week, when we will announce our next book!

About Sarah Salter


  1. I think I understood what you said… I remember having that “passion” for Rangers… I was just thinking the other day when I visited my nephew in the hospital.. Something came up about Rangers and he said, “we went camping at least 2 weekends out of the month”.. I guess that was my passion for that season in my have heard me babble on about it.. And you too know my other one, and that is make up and costumes for productions… In both cases I have seen things happen and lives change when I never thought it would.. I just had to trust the Holy Spirit to guide me….Thanks for sharing as usual… Made me think back.

  2. Sharon Gillette says:

    I know exactly what you are talking about. The Lord gave me a passion for raising my children, and putting all my energy into that. Part of that was working with my own and other children in Scouts and church groups. When all the kids were in school and it was financially impossible to continue to be a stay at home mom, the lord steered me toward working in education. I did not go to school to be a teacher, so I became a teaching assistant. I don’t make anywhere near the money that a teacher makes, but I don’t carry home any work, and I am able to focus on the children because I don’t have all the responsibilities that a teacher has. The Lord has always provided for our needs. I am going through worse than usual financial stress this summer due to a temporary lay-off last year, but I am excited about the upcoming school year and relieved to be back to full time. Working in education in my passion, and I believe I am in the place the Lord made for me! Success is having enough to get by, and knowing I am making a difference in the lives of children. Thanks Sarah for reminding of all I have to be thankful for!

  3. Honestly, I won’t go into all of it, but God has been “setting me up” over the past weeks in my devotion time, reading this book, and even through dreams. My wife and I have a passion for children and orphans and seeing them set free in every way possible. I can’t do that on my own! It’s such an overwhelming task with the ones in our home, not to mention the millions around the world who need an advocate and a family. At the same time, I’m more determined than ever! Our God is my passion and I get to share in a piece of His passion. What a privilege He calls us into. Thanks so much, Sarah.

  4. Sarah Salter says:

    Thanks, Sharon! 🙂

  5. Sarah Salter says:

    Jason, I’m blessed to be surrounded by people who feel that passion for children and orphans, too. I’m REALLY excited to see what God’s got in store as we follow His will, filled with His passion, and working in His strength!

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