Some of you went to ACFW and had successful agent and editor appointments, requests for material, and positive feedback on your work.
Others of you attended, but felt that your meetings did not go well. Perhaps you bungled your pitch; maybe the agent wasn’t interested in what you had to offer, or the editor felt your genre was already over-represented at their house. Whatever the case, you came away deflated and feeling the sting of failure.
Still others weren’t able to attend at all. You watched from the sidelines as your friends went and returned, glowing with their successes and accomplishments. Your role has been a cheerleader, and although you’re glad to celebrate with your friends, a deep-down part of you wonders when it will be your turn.
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For those who fall into the last two categories, this post is for you. How do you keep a sweet spirit when it seems as if everyone is being promoted around you and you’ve been left far behind?
Here are some ideas.
1. Pray a blessing over those who are doing well.
Bless them? Aren’t they the last people in need of your prayers?! They’re already being blessed!
Perhaps, but this exercise has more to do with the state of your spirit than the state of the person you’re praying for.
Praying a blessing over someone else in their time of success is the best way to do spiritual warfare against jealousy. (click to tweet.) The enemy wants you to feel jealous; to compare yourself and feel like you come up short. When you turn this on its head and pray for God to heap blessing on the person you envy, Satan’s attack on your heart loses its power.
So pray, even if – especially if – you don’t feel like it. Pray for those God has blessed, for even more abundance, for favour, for new and better opportunities, for success overflowing.
The more you exercise this sort of spiritual warfare against resistance, the more God will transform your heart, bringing it into line with the words you’re praying, until you forget about yourself and genuinely desire the success of others.
2. Focus on the kingdom picture, not the glory of self.
We say our motivation in writing is to bring glory to God, but nothing tests this assertion like moments when there is no glory for self to be found. (click to tweet.)
Is your heart for God’s kingdom to grow? Meditate on this. Spend time in the word, reminding yourself daily of the bigger picture at stake. All our accomplishments will one day pass away, but God’s kingdom will last forever.
When our heart is in tune with God’s heart, our focus naturally shifts away from ourselves and toward kingdom values. Competition is replaced with teamwork. We’re all working for a common goal, so the success of another is your success, too.
Praise God for any way in which his word goes forth, whether it’s carried by you or someone else. The important thing is God glorified.
|freedigitalphotos.net, image by Sura Nualpradid|
3. Rest in God’s good plan for your life
Striving ties us up in knots and brings dissatisfaction.
It says, “I don’t trust God to work this out, so I must make it happen on my own.”
And when you can’t make it happen, or things don’t go the way you hoped, you feel depressed and lose your confidence.
Hebrews 10:35 says: “So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you!” (NLT)
This type of confidence doesn’t depend on attending a writer’s conference or having agents and editors request your work.
It’s a confidence rooted in your deep soul-knowledge that God loves you, that he wants his best for you, that he has ordered your steps from before you were born and is daily working out his purposes in your life.
Don’t throw that away to lean on your own striving.
Confident trust brings peace and rest and joy in the journey, no matter what the outward circumstances look like.
Be blessed, take heart and take joy! God has you in the palm of his hand.
Did ACFW leave you elated or deflated? What is God speaking to you through this experience?
How to keep a sweet spirit from the sidelines of the writing life: Click to Tweet
Celebrate the success of others without jealousy or comparison - here's how: Click to Tweet