We all feel that twinge of apprehension when we think about presenting our writing to others. Is it good enough? Who am I to tell you what to think or do? Will others think my work is stupid?
Writing is a private venture. We are safe and protected while we express our thoughts and ideas through words in the privacy of our little space. However, when we take our writing and present it to the world, we become vulnerable. It is a step outside of the secret place where we are safe, and out into the culture where our fragile egos are exposed to critics, scoffers, and people more adequate than we are.
Let’s consider reexamining our focus.
Jesus once told a parable of three servants who were given a sum of money and sent out into their culture. After a long time, they were called before the King to give an account of their faithfulness. Two of the servants presented the fruit of their labors, but the third approached the throne with shame.
. “I was afraid, and hid the talent you gave me.” His words stand as a warning.
A talent was a large sum of money used in the ancient world. Each of the three servants was given this money to help advance God’s kingdom. Two of the servants doubled the money they were given. But the sum of their gain isn’t the point of the story; rather, it’s the faithfulness of these servants to take what God had given and use it as He intended.
Two of the servants were successful, and one was a failure. The only difference between success and failure in this parable is the fear factor. It became the driving force in the failing servant. He focused on himself: What if I fail? What if I lose? Ironically, when he obeyed his fears, he guaranteed failure and loss.
Like these servants, we as writers have been given something. Instead of money, it is desire. The Lord has placed in the heart of each writer the desire to communicate through the written word. Although writing talent is a gift, good writing is developed by constantly evaluating our work to make it better. We present our writing to those who can nurture and refine, and then we use our gifts of desire and talent in the culture around us.
Writing isn’t merely natural talent. Writing is a God-given desire placed within us so we can advance the Kingdom of God. Rather than focusing on ourselves, we must look at the purpose of the gift – to advance a kingdom. In the parable of the money, it didn’t instantly return as a double portion. The investment grew over time; as the faithful servants learned, honed their abilities, and persevered, their money grew and eventually doubled.
Instead of hiding your words in a safe place, step out and risk. Learn and grow, and eventually you will see fruit from your labors. Your gift will develop over time. It will grow, mature, and be effective. God produces results through your faithfulness. As you take your words out of hiding and offer them to God first, He will shape, mature, and use them for His kingdom in the world.
Resolve not to be fear- driven, hiding your gift from the world. Trust God with your writing desire and talent , persevere by learning from criticism, and continue maturing by using this gift to advance the kingdom, so you too can hear, “You have been faithful in little, I will bless you with much.”