When my daughter heard that I was speaking at a women's retreat on the theme of grace, she gave me a wonderful little book called Grace Rules by Steve McVey. Mr. McVey starts off by admitting that one little preposition spoiled the first 29 years of his life because he thought it was his duty as a Christian to live for Jesus. He was set free when he discovered that the New Testament puts the emphasis on living in Christ.
The difference in those two words changed his life and the way in which he related to God. Mr. McVey goes on to illustrate the difference and it's all about grace.
I loved one of the illustrations he used, asking his readers to imagine they've just been told a man has jumped off the Empire State building. Mr. McVey says that no-one would think to ask, "did he fall?" because everyone knows the laws of gravity demand that he would. But then, if you were told he jumped off the building in a hang glider, our imaginations would picture a man soaring above the skyline of New York because we also know that the law of aerodynamics trumps the law of gravity. The man in the hang glider is like someone living in Christ, relying on His grace in every aspect of his life.
After reading the book I began to think about my attitudes in this regard and realized that I often fall into the legalistic mindset of living for Jesus, working for Jesus, writing for Jesus, instead of living in Him.
I began to ponder what living in Christ would mean as far as my writing was concerned. It would mean I wouldn't be so focused on trying to write what sells, but trying to write what is my heart. It would mean I wouldn't be so focused on capturing a market as capturing the hearts of my readers. It would mean I wouldn't worry so much about sales and social media numbers and all the other marketing ploys but would focus on relationships and serving others as Jesus did. It would mean, in short, not focusing on my career but focusing on Him.
Writing while living in Christ would free me to be the writer He wants me to be by relying on His grace to get me there instead of all the strategies of marketing and business practices. No, I'm not going to stop doing the marketing but I am going to work at changing my attitude toward it. I am going to work at soaring instead of falling.
What about you?