“The word is half his that speaks, and half his that hears it.” –Montaigne (1533-1592)
I recently read this quote while teaching a lesson in spelling to my third grade daughter, and it spoke so eloquently to me as a writer. The words that I share with other people, given to me by God, are not just my benefit, but to enrich others.
Although there is an enormous sense of fulfillment and satisfaction found in seeing my written work in print, it must not become so important that I lose sight of why I felt led to begin a writing ministry. Freelance writing, especially in the Christian market, has grown rapidly in the last several years. The pressure, therefore, to excel has also increased.
In this very competitive field, it is easy to forget that the main reason I am writing is to bring God glory. Success of any kind, is often just an invitation to take our eyes off God, and focus instead on what we feel to be our own accomplishments. We often forget that without His guidance and His blessing over our lives, we would not reach that pinnacle of becoming an auspicious “published” writer.
When I first began seriously writing, God directed me to a couple of verses in 1 Peter, Chapter 4, vs. 10 and 11. “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (11) If anyone speaks let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
The word stewards in this sense is used towards Christians in general, using the gifts entrusted to them by the Lord for the strengthening and encouragement of fellow believers. This is my job. This is the reason I write. Although becoming a well known published Christian author would be a nice benefit to reap, it is not the reason that Christ gives me the words to share. It is, instead, as verse 11 dictates, so “that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”
Remembering this missive, regardless of whether my name is ever seen as the byline on the Best Seller list, or not, I truly will be exultant as a good steward for Christ. Only then, when the focus is completely on bringing Him glory, and uplifting my fellow man, will I truly be able to pen words of success.
Copyright February 19, 2004
Read more articles by Mary Elder-Criss or search for articles on the same topic or others.