And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians. 12: 9, 10 (NAS)
The moment we begin writing for our own self-promotion and advantage, we lose our opportunity for the greatest impact on the world. No matter how skillful a wordsmith we become, or how many high-paying book contracts we sign, our worth as a writer and influence as a communicator do not lie in anything within ourselves. Only in the power of God will our gifts truly shine.
If there is one truth to be shared with and embraced by Christian writers, it is that our articles and books do not belong to us at all: they are God’s alone from the first word to the concluding paragraph. Every time we grow distracted in “getting our name out,” in amassing royalties, and in creating a best-seller, our focus shifts off our Lord. When our eyes are not on Him, our hands holding our work open to His plans, we miss our chance for the greatest adventure in writing possible: being His tool to transform lives for eternity.
The passage in 2 Corinthians is a favorite of mine because it is an oft-needed reminder that we can glory even in our limitations and flaws. Not glory in ourselves, but in the power of God which will be displayed through those flaws.
In my writing I strive to be transparent and let my readers see some of my struggles. This is, to me, just one of my sacrifices as God’s servant. It is a sacrifice I would prefer not to make. I would rather not tell anyone some of the things I have experienced. Some trials are personal and intimate and agonizing. They serve as a simple reminder to me of the truth that we will never be fully whole on this earth. We were never meant to be. So instead of seeking to prop up our own reputations and trumpet our strengths, why not try pouring out our lives for the sake of others? I challenge you to invest in something that will last on into the eternal place where we will be whole and healed and pure.
Without fail, God uses my meager talents to touch the most readers when I feel ineffective. In my weakness and finite vision, God displays His strength and does things in my heart and my readers’ hearts that I could never have imagined. When He is glorified instead of me, the impact of simple words can mark a lifetime.
Natalie Nyquist is a single mom working as a proofreader and editor while dialoguing on the intermix of beauty, grace, and suffering at www.pursuethebeauty.com