Today, I welcome Denise Loock to Writer’s Patchwork. She’s the author of Open Your Hymnal, Open your Hymnal Again and Dig Deeper Devotions. Denise shares an encouraging challenge to all Christian writers.
Do you remember singing about the wise man and the foolish man in Sunday school? You know, “The wise man built his house upon a rock …” (If you need a refresher, here’s a link: The song is based on Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:24–27. The wise man’s house withstands the heavy rains because his house is built on the rock. The foolish man’s house, however, collapses when the heavy rains come because he built it on sand.
The rock in the parable, of course, is Jesus. That’s a powerful message for writers. On what foundation are you building your writing? As the children’s song reminds us, we need to build our writing on the Lord Jesus Christ.
One way to test the foundation of your writing career is to examine your motivation.
I don’t know about you, but almost every day in numerous situations—choosing a restaurant, activities, even a seat at a meeting—a shrill voice inside my head whines, “What’s in it for me?”
That’s the wrong question.
Consider David’s words in Psalm 34:1-2. “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; the humble will hear it and rejoice. Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together” (NASB).
Who’s the focus? The Lord.
Connect David’s attitude to Jesus’ comments about the Holy Spirit in John 16:13-14. “When He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative; but whatever He hears, He will speak. . . . He will glorify Me” (NASB).
“He will glorify Me.” If that’s the Holy Spirit’s job on earth, what do you suppose our job is? The question is never “what’s in it for me?” It is always “what’s in it for God?” His reputation. His glory. His exaltation.
Too often, we writers say, “I want my writing to help people.” But you know what? They don’t need our help. They need God’s help. Our motivation should always be “point people to Jesus.” You and I are dispensable. And as remarkable as our stories or experiences may be, they won’t solve anyone else’s problems. God is the problem solver.
Set aside time this week to examine your motivation. Be honest with yourself and with God. Maybe a writing colleague or a group of writers could explore one or two of these questions with you:
- When I talk about my writing, how many sentences start with “I” and how many start with “God”?
- When I list the goals of my writing, what spiritual aspirations are included?
- When I think about the readers I want to reach, do I have their spiritual growth in mind? What in my writing will move them closer to God?
- Are my goals focused on making money and becoming famous? Would I consider my writing a success if only one reader was spiritually enriched?
Denise Loock is an editor, writer, and speaker. Through speaking engagements, books, and her website, Digdeeperdevotions.com, she shares with others the joy of studying God’s Word. As a nonfiction book editor, she uses her twenty-nine years of experience as an English teacher to help Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas produce high quality, engaging inspirational books. As the editor for The Journey Christian Newspaper, she coordinates, edits, and proofreads articles for four print editions and the online edition. She also accepts freelance editing projects.Visit lightningeditingservices.com for details. Contact her at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I love comments from readers. Please share yours with Denise and me.
Thursday Denise will share her heart again. Watch for her blog post Write Message.
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