We Can’t All Be Mother Teresa!

May 24, 2014 by


Have you ever had anyone say that to you?

Maybe you’ve said it yourself.

It’s true. We can’t all be Mother Teresa. But don’t you think we should try?

Though she may appeared to have been, I’m sure that Mother Teresa wasn’t perfect. She did, however, live a life devoted to serving others. I think if more of us lived with her mindset, the world would be a much better place. She is no longer with us, but she made some pretty profound statements that I think are worth, not only remembering, but emulating.

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – I’m pretty sure we are all guilty of this one. Can we love someone while we are judging them? I’d like to spend a lot more time loving and a lot less judging. (Matthew 7:1-5)

“We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.” – Too often we feel that our lives are small and insignificant, that any good we do is only a tiny drop in a huge bucket. I don’t believe that’s true. Apparently, Mother Teresa didn’t either. As with all things, it’s the love behind the action that matters, not the size. (Luke 21:1-4)

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” – A smile is free, so there are no excuses for not giving them generously. You may never know the impact a smile can have on a hurting person. (Romans 15:2)

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” – We may not have the funds to give a tangible gift, but a kind word may change a life. The only cost is some thought, consideration, and a little love. (Proverbs 31:26)

“Live simply so that others may simply live.” – Mother Teresa sacrificed the comforts of this world in order to make others more comfortable. Is there anything we would be willing to give up so that others may live better? (Proverbs 11:24)

“Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” – Like my Pastor says, God is not Santa Clause. I think, too often, we forget that. We come to Him with a list of the things we would like. That isn’t all bad because He asks us to do that. However, let us not forget to give Him praise, honor, and glory for His goodness. Let us not forget to put our lives in the center of His will. And perhaps, most importantly, let us be still enough to hear His voice in response. (Matthew 6:9-13, John 10:27)

“A life not lived for others is not a life.” –  Scripture tells us that our lives are not our own because we were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). We are also told that we are to consider others more valuable than ourselves and look to their interests as much as our own (Philippians 2:3-4).

“The good you do today may be forgotten. Do good anyway.” Jesus told us that we need to be careful that we do not do good deeds to be seen by men for their approval. Instead, we are to seek God’s approval. If we are following His advice, or command, we will do good even when man does not remember or reward us. (Matthew 6:1)

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.” – Jesus said that we will always have the poor with us. I think that we live in a fallen world so the issue of poverty is really too big for us to fix this side of heaven. I don’t believe, however, that Jesus meant that we shouldn’t even bother trying. In fact, He taught exactly the opposite. I think the idea here is that we don’t need to focus on whether or not we can solve the poverty issue (or how), but to do what we can to help as many as we can. (1 John 3:17)

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” – Wow! I’m not sure I have much to add to this profound statement except to ask the question, why should we only love in our comfort, when we can love til it hurts? (1 John 4:7-21)

“I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”  – Oh, that this would be true of me, and of you, for His Glory. (John 3:16)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your Word gives us a living, breathing example of how we are to live our lives so that we can be more like Your Son, Jesus Christ. Thank You that you have given us examples of believers to teach, inspire, and encourage those same traits in us. Help us to shine our lights for You so that You would be glorified. In the precious name of Jesus, we pray. Amen. 

What do you think? Do you have a favorite quote by her?

Print This Post Print This Post

*For your convenience, live links to Bible verses have been created. Just click on the highlighted link to read the Bible verse in a new window.

Find her inspiring book No Greater Love here. Amazon also carries this beautiful reminder.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. You are not obligated to make any purchases, but when you do through one of my links or the Amazon search box to the right, I will make a small percentage on the sale. Thank you for supporting my site.

This post was shared on Missional CallTGI SaturdaysI Choose Joy!, Tell His StoryEveryday JesusDance With JesusA Look at the Book, A Little R&RGrace & TruthStill SaturdayFaith Along the Way, & Cornerstone Confessions.

33 Responses to We Can’t All Be Mother Teresa!

  1. bonniesteinborn

    I do enjoy reading Mother’s Teresa’s words and your comments — Wonderful having them in such a special arrangement -with the scripture too – Blessings and thank you:)
    I think my favorite is probably the KIND WORDS — They are often remembered in a dark time and bring HIS SONlight 🙂

  2. Rick

    I have heard many over the years speak unkindly of her because she is a Catholic and therefore is not truly a Christian. They miss seeing her love of others while in that mode of judgement, which I believe is God’s territory anyway. I really believe that when some see others acts of Christ likeness and they are of differing faiths, our bent can be towards a wholesale condemnation for their work as if it is somehow unclean. Sometimes it can be very convicting, especially when the work so closely follows what Jesus taught us to do and we are not doing it ourselves! I thank you for placing the light of her work and heart. I think that if any one of us spent even a week in the bowels of Calcutta, we would truly see the selflessness of her work. May we love God with all that we are and love other as as ourselves.

    • Heather

      Very well said. I agree with you completely. Like she so eloquently said, we need to spend less time judging and more time loving. Thank you for your thoughtful response. Love you!

  3. Tobi

    She was such an amazing example, my favorite ( I use that term loosely, how can ya pick just one.) is ‘If I look at the mass I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.’ – Mother Theresa

  4. rmclellan1949

    Thanks so much for this thoughtful post. It is always good to be reminded that material things will pass away but love and things done for others will live forever !!!! Blessings.

    • Heather

      Thanks for sharing your heart with us today. It is never fun to have to say “ouch” but I believe we become better people when we recognize and fix our ouwies! Blessings to you and yours.

    • Heather

      I completely agree! Thanks so much for reading, Joanna, and for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Blessings.

  5. Karen Del Tatto

    I enjoyed this post so much. I read a book about Mother Theresa years ago and was so struck by her life story. She truly gave all Glory to Jesus.

    I was not familiar with many of the quotes you listed.

    Thank you so much for sharing. They were very edifying.

    • Heather

      I’m so glad to hear that you were still blessed by these quotes, especially after reading a book about her. Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your thoughts. Blessings.

  6. Sharita

    AH! I love all of these Mother Teresa quotes– my fave is the one about small acts with great love. What a powerful collection and great inspiration for me today. Thanks, Heather.

  7. Pingback: TGI Saturdays # 12 | AskLatisha.com

  8. Sarah Travis

    Such an encouraging and also challenging thought Heather. Fantastic quotes to spark the mind. I love her quote of feeding one if you can’t feed one hundred. I think so often we get caught up thinking that we have to make a huge impact or do something on a large scale but we just need to focus on the one person God puts before us each moment 🙂 Thank you!

    • Heather

      I love your perspective on that, Sarah. I completely agree. We need to learn to trust God one person, one act, one moment at a time knowing that He causes the increase. Thanks for reading and for sharing that with us. Blessings.

  9. Jenny @ Unremarkable Files

    We can all try to be like Mother Theresa, for sure! I love the collection of her thoughts and words here. But I think the sentiment “We can’t all be Mother Theresa” is also true in the sense that we all have different paths in life but we can serve God equally well in many different ones.

    • Heather

      That’s so true, Jenny. As long as we are willing to serve Him, He uses us all in different ways and that’s okay. Thanks so much for reading and for sharing your thoughts with us. Blessings.

  10. Laura

    So much wisdom in this post…I love it! I appreciate the reminder to not just ask when praying…but to also praise and give thanks. I have been getting better about this but can sometimes fall back into old habits.

    • Heather

      It’s all too easy for us to slip into our bad habits, isn’t it, Laura? I’m so thankful for His grace that covers us in our weaknesses! May He continue to fill your cup to overflowing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *