Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Somewhere in my internet travels I saw people sharing what’s on their bookshelves. I have bookshelves in almost every room of my house housing collections gathered over many years. I have a fine collection of antiquarian children’s illustrated books, a complete collection of early editions of C. S. Lewis, nice collections of Madeleine L’Engle, Belloch, Bellaire, George MacDonald, Chesterton. . . well, I could on and on. But the shelf I photographed was the one that held my client books. That’s the collection that finds me bustin’ buttons with pride.
When I started agenting I adopted a philosophy from Henry Blackaby. I decided I wanted to find the writers where God was already at work and come alongside. That’s been the qualification and it’s stood me in good stead over this nearly a decade of agenting and I’m so proud of the work that has resulted from these partnerships. Yep, bustin’ buttons.
I blush to admit that I often post prideful-sounding boasts on my Facebook page about some of the exciting things happening to my clients. I have to trust that my friends will forgive what might look like a brag fest and just rejoice along with me.
I’ve long worried about pride. When I was a little girl admiring my braids in the mirror or showing off a drawing, my mother would repeat a Swedish Bible verse her mother used to say to her: högmod går före fall. It meant pride goeth before a fall. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized being proud of my work or taking pride in accomplishment was not the pride referred to in that verse at all.
The deadly sin version of pride is an altogether different animal. It’s thinking we can do things on our own. That we don’t need God, thankyouverymuch. It’s when we begin to think we’re pretty much on an equal footing with the Almighty that högmod går före fall.
Being a literary agent will quickly rid one of that kind of pride. It doesn’t take long to realize that we do nothing apart from God. Every sale, every success, even every seeming failure comes from his hand. As Mark Batterson said in his book, Draw the Circle, “After we pray like it depends on God, we need to work like it depends on us. But if we don’t pray first, our work won’t work. We can’t do something for God until we let God do something for us.”
All that to say this: There’s nothing wrong with being proud of our work. Bustin’ buttons is just another way of saying, “Look what God is doing.” Good thing because I’m so proud of what my clients accomplishments. Just look at that photo above.
So my questions for you today are these: Do you ever struggle with the idea of pride? Does self-promotion feel like a deadly sin? Is it okay to be proud of our work?
Deadly sin? No. Nothing wrong with being proud of your work. Click to Tweet
Bustin’ buttons? Why writerly pride is no sin. Click to Tweet