By Andrea Merrell
Helen Keller once said, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”
I recently underwent a corneal transplant which resulted in using only one eye for a couple of weeks, then not seeing clearly for several more. When my vision finally began to improve, it was necessary to stick with my old glasses for at least three months until my vision “settled.” Needless to say, it was not an easy task.
Not a good scenario for a writer and editor who spends most of her time on the computer.
A week after my surgery, my friend Cindy Sproles underwent a serious surgery of her own where they literally drilled a hole in her skull to correct a hearing problem. After the surgery, her hearing in that ear was only about 10 percent. She had to wait, as I did, for healing to occur.
Not a good scenario for someone who works part-time, leads a ministry, serves as a managing editor for a publishing company, and teaches at writers’ conferences.
A few weeks after our surgeries, Cindy asked how I was doing. She said, “I can see and you can hear. Together, we make a whole person.” Funny story, but it made me think about how easy it is to take what we have for granted.
The truth is God has given each of us gifts. Writers have the ability to craft stories and pen words that will touch the hearts of readers. Editors have an eye for detail and structure and can help polish the prose of writers. Some have the gift of a listening ear, while others possess the ability to encourage those who are struggling. Within the writing and publishing industry, there are many gifts: marketing and promotion, design, teaching, mentoring, managing projects, social media, putting together workshops and conferences, and a host of behind-the-scene projects and activities.
The Bible tells us we are one body in Christ Jesus (Romans 12:5 NKJV). In verse 15, we’re told to be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep (NLT). All the parts of His body are connected, and each part depends on the other. That means our gifts are to be used and shared with each other.
Many times, we fail to look at our gifts as we should. We might feel entitled, take them for granted, or push them aside, planning to use them tomorrow.
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus tells the story of three servants who were given talents, or gifts, according to their individual ability. Two handled theirs correctly while the third man buried his. In the end, not only did he lose it, it was given to one of the others who used his as expected.
After two eye surgeries, I will never take my sight for granted. I’m sure Cindy would say the same about her hearing. In the same way, I never want to take the gifts God has given me as a writer for granted. He gives to us so that we might expand His kingdom, bring glory to Him, and bless others. When we bury our gifts—whether from fear, timidity, or procrastination—we rob ourselves and others of God’s blessings. When we use what He has given us to the best of our ability and invest in the lives of others, we bring honor and glory to the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17 NIV).
Writer, what is your gift? Maybe you have many. Whether you excel at writing devotions, crafting exciting novels, creating interesting blog posts, giving encouraging critiques, or praying for others, look for ways to use your gifts to bless the body of Christ, and never take them for granted.
Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop (2 Corinthians 9:6 NLT).
Can you share a time when you’ve used your gift/gifts to bless others? We would love to hear from you.
Photos courtesy of (FreeDigitalPhotos.net/Stuart Miles and adamr.)
Use your God-given gifts to bless the body of Christ, and never take them for granted. (Click to tweet.)