Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creative Best Series - Part Five

Net's Notation Tuesdays
Creative Best Series - Part Five

Today we continue our journey through Galatians 6:4 in The Message. Our next line reads:

Don’t be impressed with yourself

What a command.

Years ago, I joined fellow writers at a conference in Seattle. As we sat down to eat, one of the authors said he always signed with this “code”—1cor47 whenever he signed his books. 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 living as a Christian. 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’s 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 truly birthed from the grace of the One who dwelt inside them, making them succeed.

Plus, how boring is it to speak to a well-published author who only discusses themselves and their accomplishments? They have a lot to say, so the conversation doesn’t lag. But it’s rather one-sided.

Following an experience of just that, a friend of mine said, “If I ever get like that, would you just slap me?” :-)

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, taught us, helped us discern areas of weakness in a piece of writing so we could fix it.

I sat at my computer the other day, stuck. No words came. No solutions for why my wip (work in progress) was so boring. So, I prayed that God would give me what I was missing, what the story was missing. As I continued to tap away on those keys, new ideas came. Fresh inspiration from the Creator. He intervened. Without His help, the story would remain dull. Now I can build on what He provided. But I can't take credit.

As Christian writers, we can't take credit. We can cheer the successes. Enjoy the process and the accolades. But we cannot become impressed with ourselves.

Give glory to God and be your creative best.

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