The world clamors at us from every side to learn all sorts of things and much of this is good. We do have to be cautious, however, to consider the source and consider the purpose or we might be spinning our wheels or even going backwards.
As writers, we are encouraged to always be stretching our limits in the craft whether it’s by attending conferences and workshops, reading books on any one of various topics related to our particular area of interest in writing, meeting with other writers in groups to hear a speaker or for discussion, honing our skills at critiquing by aiding other writers, or always by sitting at the computer and actually writing. All of these will help us grow to do our chosen tasks better and more efficiently. Otherwise, we are just doing “busy work” without purpose.
As Christians we know from the Scriptures that we will never remain stagnant. That is, we will either be growing in our faith or sliding backwards. There is no middle ground. Try as we might, we cannot stay where we are! The expansion of our beliefs might be through baby steps or might be through giant leaps—and this goes for both directions, for that matter. Have you ever hit a low point and felt that every day you were taking ten steps back? Yes, so have I. Not fun. Sometimes the slippery slope is a huge mountain; other times it is subtle and gentle and not so obvious. Perhaps you have awakened, as have I, and realized with a start that it has been quite some time since you felt God’s presence filling your soul and you wonder where He went. He didn’t go anywhere, though, since He wasn’t the one who moved. Good lesson to be more discerning about sliding back down that hill!
Mine is a dynamic faith and I pray my writing will be equally as “on fire” so that my messages will encourage hearts, inform minds, and inspire the spirits of people who read my books. The worst remark someone could make about one of my novels is to ask later “what message?” because it just didn’t make that great of an impact for her to remember. And I pray that no one I meet or know will have to wonder whether or not I am a Christian, that just by meeting and knowing me even briefly they can tell. At least, that is my goal. Which is also a scary prospect, in that perhaps I will have a negative impact on someone because of that fact. Ouch!
The world assails us with the demand to gain more knowledge but God’s desire is for us to have understanding of the facts we already know before we attempt to learn new ones. As stated recently in Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, “Understanding will never bring you Peace. That’s why I have instructed you to trust in Me, not in your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) emphasizes this by reminding us that God is the source of our understanding, not our own intellect, ability, or persistence. For Christ alone is the Prince of Peace.
Psalms 20:7 (NIV) says it another way: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” Not in might or power or wealth or education or prestige or success—just in HIM! And then we are admonished that once we make this decision to pursue understanding and wisdom through His Spirit, we are not to be filled with second thoughts or questions. As Elizabeth Elliot said it: “Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.” Amen and amen again!
Keep writing and keep striving for understanding of Him and His values, keeping your eyes off the world while being in it and writing about it. Tough assignment but possible through His strength alone!