“Following Christ has nothing to do with success as the world sees success.
It has to do with love.”
~ Madeline L’Engle
If you’ve been keeping up with me these last few weeks, you know I’m a rule-follower. You know that I LOVE to get things done. In fact, these past three devotionals that I’ve written for Faithful Moms….I am writing them in one day. Why? Because I want to succeed, check it off my list, turn it in, get an A. In short, I want my life to be successful!
This quote reminds me that often, I miss the point. I miss what true success is really all about.
“Following Christ has nothing to do with success as the world sees success. It has to do with love.”
Love is true success. Did I love well today? Did I answer the door when my neighbors came by and interrupted me while I was deep in thought? Or did I ignore them, so that I could finish my writing? (This article!)
What does love look like? How does that make me successful?
Do you know who Madeline L’Engle was? This is her quote. I didn’t think I knew who she was until I did a little research. Have you heard of the book A Wrinkle in Time? It’s one of those famous, life-changing books that many of us read as a kid (or even as adults).
Madeline was successful. This book has won a Newberry Award and has sold over 6 million copies. It has turned into two major motion pictures. Countless book clubs and schools, children, and adults have discussed this book.
Do you know the best part? Madeline wrote this book when she had toddlers! And I can imagine that she didn’t feel very successful when she was knee-deep in dishes and diapers and the gritty obligations of motherhood. But, what did she view as success? It wasn’t all the worldly praise of her novels, although that was great. It was LOVE.
I’m convinced that she wasn’t talking about being a famous author when she said this. She must have envisioned her own toddlers and the daily care they required. The things she did that were rooted in love—those were what defined success to her!
This novel was rejected by 26-40 publishers. Undoubtedly, she felt the sting of rejection and endured painful thoughts of failure. But, Madeline didn’t give up. She kept being faithful, writing, and loving people. And even if her novels were never published, even if she did not know this amazing “success as the world sees it,” she would have known success…because she loved.
We can all do that.
And if you’re wondering, I did answer the door to love my neighbors.
Read all of Psalm 92, or listen to it being read to you on the Bible app (by life.church) or YouTube.
- How do you define success?
- Have you thought in terms of love? Think of someone in your life who loves others deeply and with abundance. How do they epitomize spiritual success to you?
For More Reading:
The Apostle Paul discusses success too. We are reading about this in our monthly Script Sub – such good stuff! He climbed the ladder of success, then he met Jesus and his world (and ours!) completely changed! Read Galatians 1:14-24
Read about true success in love in 1 Corinthians 13.
Guest Author and FLC Team Member
Holly and her husband Rob have just moved back to her hometown in California, after living for 4 years in Germany. While there, she met people from all over the world. While she loved her travels, she is happy to be home, doing familiar things again like taking her son to soccer and her daughter to volleyball. Holly contributes to our monthly ScriptSub and has known Erika and Becky since their college days in Chicago. She is joining us for the next three weeks of devotionals.