1 John 2:16, 17 “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
Pride comes in many forms. Some pride is obnoxiously overt. It’s the kind that lifts its nose to newbie writers and doesn’t dare extend a helpful, loving hand.
Thankfully, I did not find this type of pride at ACFW Dallas 2006. Instead I found multi-published authors hanging with the newbies. I witnessed incredible ministry in the name of Jesus and not for personal glory. I experienced first hand the genuineness of real people, encouraging each other. If there had been no name tags, I wouldn’t have been able to tell who the published authors were.
Then there’s the subtle pride. The kind that says “Oh, I can do that!” The kind of pride that is sometimes mistaken for confidence.
Confession time. I’ve suffered from this kind of pride for years without even knowing it. At the ACFW conference God revealed this to my heart. I’d been very confident of my writing ability, knowing that one day I would get published. Since a young age, I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer. So naturally I pursued writing in college earning a degree in telecommunications and journalism.
Technically, I’ve been published since I was fifteen when I wrote for the town paper, but I didn’t start pursuing fiction until 1992, when God gave me a story. Well, after I had children that story sat for years. When I felt it was time to pick it up again, I ran with it. I finished that book and thought I had a great story. Then I realized writing a novel had all these rules. POV? Head hopping? Passive verbs? Attributions? I did them all, but I learned all the while reading books and believing I could write like “them.”
The pattern continued. I believed. I wrote. I learned. I got rejected. I realized how much I didn’t know. I studied. I learned some more. On and on this went for a couple of years, all the time I still believed I could write like “them.” But somewhere at ACFW this year my confidence faded, crumbling into a heap of self doubt. That’s when I saw my pride.
I was taken back by my own pride which in essence had replaced that quiet confidence I believed came from God and the gift he gave me. I became so worried about learning my craft and getting it right that I lost my voice and God’s vision for my writing.
So here I am, back where I belong. Still hopeful, but humbled. Still confident, but cautious. Still driven, but I’m not at the wheel any longer. I’ve given it back to the Lord, knowing He knows the best path for me to take in my writing journey, even though it may not be the quickest.
For more from a Gina on pride visit here.