Thursday, November 3, 2011

When Joy Spills Over - Celebrating Your Friend's Success

Hi everyone. Pepper here and I'm filling in for Wendy whose family is dealing with the first snowstorm of the season (which means no power) AND her family can't even go home yet. So I'm sure she'd appreciate your prayers as they transition and wait.

Yesterday Melanie Dickerson sent me a sweet thank you note for celebrating her upcoming release, The Merchant's Daughter, and posting about it on FB. (Isn't that a fabulous cover!!) Her gratitude warmed my heart and reminded me about why it's so important to celebrate our writing friends's sucesses because eventually the joy spills over on us.

We live in a dog eat dog world – or so I’m told. Gone are the days of ‘good will toward men’ or a random act of kindness. Some say true gentlemen are extinct and the majority rule is ‘look out for number 1’.

Besides the fact that if I only looked out for ‘number 1’ there would be a whole lot more car accidents, greater job openings (because loads of people would be fired), more homeless children, a higher divorce rate, and hospitals full of patients who have nobody to care for them, the world would be a emotionally parched place.

We’re surrounded by other people. Unless we’re hermits in the Himalayas, people are going to be a part of our lives whether we like it or not. Even in the Himalayas there might be an occasional ‘lost hiker’ :-)

And as writers in an increasingly competitive profession, it’s pretty easy to become stingy with our congratulations and celebrating. Envy, jealousy, or hurt feelings can pull us from our focus and send us spiraling into a pouting place.

But as Christians we have a few secret weapons in this battle. God has given us His spirit of generosity and He also helps us to cultivate a thankful heart. Left up to us, we’d be pretty helpless and doing this, but because God knows we’re woefully unprepared, His Spirit gives us the strength to do what we can’t on our own.

So – how do we celebrate with others? How do we allow their joy to spill over on us?

1. Remind yourself of God’s great love for you – Hebrew 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

2. Remind yourself of the calling He’s put on your life (not just the call to love others, but the call to write. Ephesians 1:18 -19 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,  and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

3. Remind yourself of God’s perfect plan in His perfect time – Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose

4. Remind yourself to be thankful – Colossians 2:6 -7 - So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness

5. Remember to pray for others, because in doing so you are opening up God’s joy to spill out on your heart through prayer. We’re getting our minds off of ourselves.

Life is more wonderful when we fill it with good things – and that especially includes our thoughts.

What an honor to celebrate with our friends? To find the joy in the moment with them.

Even if we still have to fight the ‘green eyed monster’ from my last post, we have to weapons to fight it. Weapons straight from the Joy-Author himself.

Next time you're tempted, let the joy spill over on you. Celebrate with those writers. Dance with them. Shout with them.

And some day – in God’s good timing, they can celebrate with us.

This blog post by
Pepper D. Basham

Photos courtesy of:


Casey said...

I will find myself more than once wishing another writer's success for me, but when that happens, I KNOW that's not how I want to live my life and turn that into immediate praise and snoopy-dancing for their success. Because their success is perfect for them--it wouldn't be for me. God's timing is amazing and I honestly LOVE to celebrate with other's suceess. You're so right--their joy becomes ours!

Melanie Dickerson said...

Aw! You are so sweet, Pepper! And this is such a great post. I decided a long time ago that I didn't want to ever be jealous of another writer's success, because how would I feel if someone was jealous of my success? I want people to celebrate with me, so I want to celebrate with them. Usually it's easy for me to be happy for someone else. :-) After all, being happy is a lot more fun than being jealous!!! Plus, I know how hard my friends are working and how much they deserve their successes, and I'm just plain happy for them! And when it's someone you have helped, someone you've critiqued for and prayed for and personally encouraged, it is truly a blessing to see them succeed. It makes me genuinely happy!

Anyway, thanks, Pepper, AGAIN!!! You are an awesome Christian lady. :-)

Sarah Forgrave said...

Such a great post, Pepper! When we move past ourselves, there really is more joy, isn't there?

Krista Phillips said...

LOVE THIS!!!! For me, the jealousy was always an after-thought. I'd be elated and happy-dancing and so excited... but after I calmed down and went back to my own writing... the melancholy and green-eyed pock-marked monster sometimes would sneak in. Even with a contract in my pocket now, I still am firm with myself to not compare.

It isn't easy... cause of that stupid dad gum human nature in us, but we're all works in progress's, right?

Pepper said...

Amen, Case.
I'm pretty sure God has 'hand-crafted' success for each one of his kids and not a one-size-fits-all mentality. :-)

Pepper said...

being happy IS a lot more fun than being jealous.
And there are much better repercussions from it too :-)

So happy to celebrate with you!

Pepper said...

Definitely, Sarah

Pepper said...

You know, Krista - I think I'm more likely to respond your way (if I am going to have trouble with jealousy)
An after-thought.

But most of the time, I just like to revel in the celebration. I like parties :-)

Pepper said...

You know, I think taking the mentality of the beggar at Jesus' table might be a good way to look at it - or it is for me anyway. Whatever spills over should be viewed with thanksgiving.
Now, I don't always respond that way - but it sure sounds great :-)

Susan Anne Mason said...

So true, Pepper!

Adam Gaylord said...

Great post! I agree that you have to celebrate your writing successes. I just posted about it. Check it out: