Monday, September 18, 2006

A quote that has been lingering....

"Success will take you where character cannot."
I cannot remember where I heard this quote or even who said it but I wrote it down in my journal a long time ago and came across it the other day.
When I first heard this quote I thought of how famous successful people seem to fall by the waste-side in character issues all the time. The truth of this is quite obvious when you look at the cover of any People magazine . The covers are plastered with divorce or drug and alcohol abuse. This is an example that makes this quote easy for me to understand.
After some thought though I started to think about how this quote could be applied to Christians who think they are achieving spiritual success. I don't know what many of you would define as spiritual success but there was a time when for me it meant being used by God in the Billy Graham sort of way. Now, I don't think that way anymore. A long , long time ago this was what I thought it meant to be spiritually successful; to read your bible every single day without fail, to pray for everyone, help everyone, go on as many mission trips as possible, prophesy, sing prophetically, read one or more books on being a good Christian, go to every bible study available at the church, pray prophetically, you get the idea. If you weren't living this way you weren't a successful , victorious Christian.
When you apply this quote that way it makes me think of how many Christians I have known over the years who were living this way, constantly looking for the mountaintop moments to affirm their salvation, and now they are not even going to church. All of them having these Billy Graham sort of moments on a daily basis. Used to perform miracle after miracle. Now a few years later when I look back on them I see that the core issues of their lives fell apart. Why? I think because they thought that what they were doing was for God so how could it not turn out good. Sometimes we put the God-tag on things that He isn't behind.
Now, I realize that the day to day life is where it is at. The little victories in my character that are changing but have taken a very long time to get there. Sometimes God heals and miraculously we are changed overnight , but more often than not it is an every day choice in my life where I get to obey or not obey.
It has made me appreciate the times when I know that Jesus is working on me and my character issues . I don't embrace these times when they are happening but when I look back I realize their necessity. I realize that it is because Jesus loves me that He corrects me.
I want to obey in every area . I want to have the character that comes along side the miracles.

6 comments:

Jeni said...

Noel, thanks for this post! It makes me appreciate how truly ordinary I am--usually I think that ordinary is what makes me boring, but really, it may be what makes me steady! :)

Jen Pell said...

I like this quote too because there is no perfect way to be a Christian but if your character is one that is leaning on the person of Jesus and you are looking to him to define you instead of looking for mountain top miracles to define you, then you'll be that long distance runner instead of a sprinter. I like this a lot. You should post it on your my space too so I can comment there as well...

noel said...

jeni- steady is a very, very, good character quality to have and you are by no means ordinary.
sista- will do although after that last question/comment left there i am a lil nervous.

Rachel said...

I'd never heard that quote before--great application to the Christian life. I'm reminded of what it says in the Bible...Man looks at the outside (success) but God looks at the heart (character).

Jeni said...

It was really great to read this again with a completely different mindset. You are still as inspiring and encouraging as ever, by the way. :)

Kelly said...

I am so glad you posted this! This is truly one of the GOOD things to dwell on. You are a jem my friend!

Blog design ©2012 Design by Alyx