Monday, June 3, 2013

Creative Best Series: Five

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Hey everyone, Annette here. Happy Monday! We've spent the last few Mondays going through Galatians 6:4-5 in the Message, focusing on being our creative best. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve my Creator by using the creative gifts He placed within me. Aren't you? Writing is a gift and a calling. Let's peek at the next section of this fantastic passage and see what nuggets we can pick up to fortify us this week. Our next line reads:
 
Don’t be impressed with yourself

Wow. Holds nothing back, does it?

Years ago, I joined fellow writers at a conference in Seattle. We sat down to eat and one of the authors said he always signed with this “code”—1cor47. We determined he meant 1 Corinthians 4:7, what we didn’t know was what that verse said. I’ll never forget the impact of these words as he quoted them to the five us:

For who makes you differ from another?
And what do you have that you did not receive?
Now if you did indeed receive it,
why do you boast as if you had not received it?
(1 Corinthians 4:7 NKJV)

Does God inspire our writing? Then, how can we take credit for it? We cannot. That author’s “code” for book signing is a great code for Christian living. It’s humbling and true.

Being “impressed with yourself” leads to boasting. How can God bless the prideful ones? He detests pride. Jesus Himself is our example of humility, serving others and loving them sacrificially. That directive is wrapped up in our calling. 

Any successes we have aren’t our own. They are a grace of God. We can’t take credit for them. It’s like the elders in heaven who throw their crowns at the feet of Jesus—they know their accomplishments were only possible by the grace of the One who dwelt inside them, making them succeed. So, how can they retain the crowns bestowed on them? No. They must throw them at His feet, giving credit where it's due.

Ever had to endure a long, one-sided conversation where an author spoke only of his/her accomplishments? Me too. Isn’t it better, more gracious, when an author takes interest in those around him/her? Offering support and encouragement?

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit,
but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Let each of you look out not only for his own interests,
but also for the interests of others.
(Philippians 2:3-4 NKJV)

We didn't get to where we are today on our own. It was the gracious work of God. He sent mentors into our lives, and teachers. He helped us discern our areas of weakness so we could address them. God gave us the calling, the resources, the support we needed as we sought Him. We certainly couldn't manufacture any of that on our own. And we definitely can't take credit for it. 
 
We can cheer the successes. Enjoy the process and the ride. But we cannot become impressed with ourselves.

Give glory to God and be your creative best.

We're halfway through our series. So, tell me: how do you nurture your creativity? How has God met you in writing, preparing, gathering resources? How has He shown you His faithfulness as you write for Him?

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net: metal trophy by Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot.

8 comments:

  1. Annette, this post is very comforting to me in a weird way. If God is responsible for my writing, then I can stop striving for the perfection I will never reach (because I'll never be perfect) and just write, knowing it's from Him. I don't mean to say that I won't do my best, stop learning or be one of those who say, "you must publish this because it's from God." But, God's grace has put this yearning to write in my heart and He will fulfill that calling. Make sense?

    Thank you so much for this. After a weekend at a family reunion and endless, "are you still writing that book" questions, I needed to hear this.

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    1. Angie, I love your take on this. And I completely understand! Such a release, isn't it? Sometimes I think the long waits we writers experience are about us not being able to take credit when something (anything! ;) finally breaks. Like the insomniac who finally sleeps after weeks without breakthrough and one night of prayer. Write on, my friend. :D

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    2. I like that, Annette. Sometimes we may need to get to a point where we can honestly give God the credit for the good things that happen, rather than thinking we've been in charge. Enjoyed the post.

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    3. Such a humbling lesson. I'm guessing it takes a lifetime to learn. ;) Thanks, Sandra!

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  2. This was a great post. I need the reminder that God is in charge, because when I got to where I in my human weakness thought He'd led me, I was roiled with confusion and doubt and sometimes, even misery. But lately things have been looking up. I guess no one said the journey would be an easy one LOL. Ans indeed, I'm learning something new every day. Keeps me on my toes.

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    1. Thanks, Tanya. So true how the journey doesn't always look how we expect. I can relate! Here's hoping things continue to look up. He has good plans! (Jer. 29:11-13)

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  3. I find the entire writing process humbling, from the actual inspiration of an idea all the way to receiving a contract years later. Only by the grace of God...

    Thanks for a fabulous series, Annette!

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    1. So true, Dora! Thanks for your kind comments. :D We're all in this together.

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