Famous or Faithful: Why dependability matters to musicians

From a pound of iron, that costs little, a thousand watch-springs can be made, whose value becomes prodigious. The pound you have received from the Lord – use it faithfully.― Robert Schumann, composer

Eighty percent of success is showing up. – Woody Allen

While being a successful musician requires a high level of talent, one of the most important factors in a music career is reliability. Being faithful to our responsibilities is a prerequisite to being a professional.

However, we shouldn’t be faithful to our tasks only to maintain a job or career. We should be faithful in our work and to our word because our Father is faithful to us.

God is the ultimate standard of dependability. He doesn’t make a plan and then evaluate whether He can follow through. His promises are never followed by a question mark.

In the same way, when we arrive on time, perform as requested, and follow through with our responsibilities, we correctly represent the character of the Creator.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. When a musician disregards promises and goes back on his word, people question not just his faithfulness, but the faithfulness of all musicians. That is a reputation we should avoid at all costs.

Building habits of faithfulness doesn’t result in instant popularity. It is an invisible work. It is said that Beethoven rewrote each bar of his music at least a dozen times. We can be sure most of those drafts never saw the light of day.

In other words, being faithful doesn’t guarantee fame.

But in time, our perseverance becomes evident in our performances and the consistency of our creativity. It’s impossible to do something consistently right without sensing the growing rewards. Our relationships improve, our confidence grows, and most importantly, we create a foundation of trustworthiness as artists.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” –  Luke 16:10 (NIV)

Faithfulness is more than a good trait. It is the key to true fulfillment for an artist. Even if it is a small task or responsibility, make sure to treat it like it matters.

It’s the little things that matter the most.

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