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Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.
~2 Corinthians 4:1
I read this verse recently, and it brought home two points as I approach this writing ministry. I thought this might be a good place to share. :)
First off, if you’ve been in writing long, you know it’s full of rejection. No two ways around it, closed doors and “no’s” are all part of the game. We talk about growing thick skin and learning to love “constructive criticism”…all of which is true. Yet it can start to seep into our bones. Is this all worth it? Will I ever be published? Am I even good at this whole writing thing?
Fact is, if God has given you this ministry of writing, then yes, you are good at it. Yes, he’s going to use your work in some capacity. And yes, it is more than worth it. Do you still need to grow and polish your talent—of course! Does that mean you’re going to sell a million books? Nope. You might have written that one book just for the editor who rejected it but found healing in its pages nonetheless. And that is what makes it worth it. If you only change one person with your writing—and never even see it, just have to believe it—then it is still worth it. Because God’s seeing it, and he’s got the instant replay waiting for you to watch some day. Amen? Yes. Amen!
So don’t lose heart. This ministry that you have is all through God’s mercy. The rejection doesn’t lessen what he’s doing through you. Keep pushing forward, believing in the talent he’s given and that he’s using it, even when you don’t see it! Someday—either here or in heaven—you will see it.
Which brings me to the second part. While we cannot take on the rejection of this ministry, we also cannot take on the glory. He’s rather specific about this, in fact, one of my favorite reminder verses says: I am the Lord, that is my name! I will not give my glory to another! Isaiah 42:8 He doesn’t beat around the bush. Look. He’s even got exclamation points, and as a writer we know not to just throw those around. Touching his glory is like trying to take his place, and that never ends well. We don’t shine for people to see us, we shine for people to see him—it’s the reason he lights us up with his fire. Don’t redirect it.
I guess bottom line is this…your writing ministry is God’s. The good and the bad of it. Don’t touch either. Don’t lose heart in the “no” and don’t take the glory of your “yes”. Just let him use you however he sees fit. It’s a wonderful ride :)