Blogger: Wendy Lawton
We’re getting close to Valentine’s Day. The commercials on the television are all trying to dupe unsuspecting men into buying room-sized teddy bears or Pajamagrams. (I warned my sweet, gift-challenged husband that any time an ad tells him his wife will love him for buying their creepy product, run the other way.)
I’m rereading Francis Chan’s Crazy Love right now and just this week I came across the exercise Chan suggests. He says to take 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and verse 13 and substitute our own name for the word “love” in the passage because, after all, we are called to be love.
________________does not envy,
________________does not boast,
________________is not proud.
________________does not dishonor others,
________________is not self-seeking,
________________is not easily angered,
________________keeps no record of wrongs.
________________does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
________________never fails . . . And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 (NIV)
I took Francis Chan up on his challenge. I grabbed my fountain pen and journal and began to write the paraphrase substituting Wendy for the word love. By the time I had written, “Wendy is patient and kind. . .” I knew I was in trouble. I looked at the long list and felt humbled by how far I miss the mark. I challenge you to do this exercise. Take a pen and paper and write the whole paragraph out. Or make it a list as I did above. It’s certainly an eye-opener, isn’t it?
As I was pondering how far I fall short of the goal of “being love” (not feeling love– that’s too easy) I began applying this to areas of my life. Am I love to my family? How about my friends? Do I represent love to those I meet in a professional way? I began to look at the attributes and realized that’s what we’re called to do as writers. Look at it again. Patient? Not self-seeking? Not boastful? Always hopes? Always perseveres? There’s a lot for writers to think about in these words.
In honor of St. Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be fun to see how you apply some of these attributes to your writing journey. How do you persevere? How do you remain hopeful? How does a writer not rejoice in evil but delight in truth? What about dishonoring others? Can a writer promote his books and remain innocent of self-seeking? As I write each one of these things I can come up with examples of how we’ve witnessed epic #fail in each one of these areas. So please chime in and tell us how you are working out one or two of these qualities in your own writing journey.