I have an ego problem. I think it’s getting better but I still have many times when thoughts come into my mind about people telling me what a great writer I am and that they want me to speak at their major church or stuff like that. I can’t stop the thoughts coming into my mind, but it’s what I do with them when they get there that is the problem. Some years ago I even took this blog offline for a while to figure out what I should do about this issue. A couple of people told me independently that it was fine to put my blog back online and deal with the issue as it comes up. I think that was good advice.
The purpose of this website is to show how Jesus is relevant to all of life and that he is the only one through whom we will ever find the peace we all want, both inside us and in the world around. I have been told by quite a few people that I have a gift in writing. I appreciate their sentiments. I used to think that saying I have a gift was arrogant and equivalent to telling people how good I was. But having a gift has nothing to do with anything I’ve done. If it was, it wouldn’t be a gift. John Smith said once that there is nothing in our lives which has not been given to us. So if God has given me a gift, he has given it for a purpose which is to do my part in bringing in his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. And if it is a gift from God for this purpose, then I have a responsibility to use it to the best of my ability and for God’s glory. To use it for my own ends, to try to get people to think how wonderful I am, then I am abusing it.
This whole issue has come up for me in the last couple of days as I have been thinking of changing the WordPress theme on this website to one which will hopefully get more hits. I have been facing the moral dilemma of whether that is all about me or not. Yesterday I thought it was, but now I’m not so sure. If this website is my outlet to influence people for what I passionately believe is good, then I would be wrong to not want as many people as possible to check this website out. Having said that, I constantly need to examine my motives, because I am one to obsess too easily, especially if it makes me feel better. That is a character defect of mine that I’m working on.
Too many of us go through our life not using the gifts that have been bestowed upon us. ‘Wasted talent’ is what I saw it once referred to. We go through our lives doing things which we think the world needs, which is ok to an extent. But John Eldredge, in his book Wild at Heart, uses a quote from Howard Thurman that changed Eldredge’s life. It says “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Writing makes me come alive. For you it might be making music or films, it might be building bridges; heck, it might even be creating fancy spreadsheets! Whatever it is, if it makes you come alive, do it, and do it to the very best of your God-given ability (1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:23).
I think John Piper explains this issue brilliantly. I don’t agree with alot of Piper’s stuff, but I think this is brilliant. Check it out and see what you think.