By Cindy Sproles, @CindyDevoted
My momma taught me the importance of Matthew 6:21 early on. You remember the famous scripture, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
She ground into me values – work ethic, determination, and graciousness. I’m at the threshold of my 60s and as I reassess my life, I realize this attitude still surfaces as a primary guiding compass. Not only has it helped me in the workplace, as a teacher and a parent, but also as a writer working my way through the industry of publishing.
I ask myself continually, where does my heart lay? Where is my treasure?
As writers, it’s easy to get caught up in the hub-bub, excitement, even the frustrations of the industry. Writers slave relentlessly for that golden opportunity of landing an agent and then a contract. Rightfully so. After all, we are writers. Our job is to write so that others might read. So why is Matthew 6:21 so important?
Simply put – it’s all about our attitude.
As members of the Christian writing community, we struggle as hard, if not harder, than secular writers for those few open slots at publication. But what sets us apart – what makes us different than the average writer? Our attitude.
Our world is in chaos. Rhetoric rules. And daily I see good authors fall into the grip of a warped world. I encourage you, as a serious writer, to evaluate your attitude. Check your ethics. Validate your Christian worldview. Assess your behavior.
Ask yourself these 5 questions to help keep your attitude godly and in check.
- Do I have a teachable heart? – It’s hard to accept criticism, be it good or bad. Our nature is to become defensive, but it’s important to understand, we all must continue to learn. Learning strengthens us as writers. It shapes us into those who can write concisely and with honor. God asks us to give our best and we cannot give our best until we learn how. Have a teachable spirit.
- Do I have an attitude of entitlement? – This requires self-evaluation. The world tries to force the “all about me” attitude. I deserve it. You owe that to me. My way or no way. Allowing this attitude to rule over us makes us selfish, hard to work with, and ungrateful. Learn to trust the experience of those editors, publishers and teachers who can lead you to success. Don’t let an attitude of entitlement steal away your opportunity to turn out the best work possible.
- What is my treasure and honestly where does my heart lay? – Whether in your personal life, spiritual life, or writing life, looking inward is a task we need daily. If your treasure box only holds only personal agenda and desires, then perhaps you need to empty it and reconsider adding a corner for others. Remember, the more you do for others, the more you are blessed. Your heart’s desire should hold as much for others as it holds for yourself.
- Am I prideful? A spirit filled with pride is fueled by selfishness and greed. Pride leads us down a road that forces us to kick others to the side in lieu of graciousness and appreciation.
- Am I kind? – This one speaks for itself. Are you kind to others and does your attitude show this kindness? Your treasure box should hold kindness, love, generosity, willingness to learn, and graciousness both for yourself and for others.
Writing is not just having an idea. It’s not just reading. Plotting. Crafting the story. Writing is all inclusive. Craft, spirit, prayer, attitude, effort, kindness, and success. Take your writing career to a new level – one that includes the “Gifter” of the talent. Publication may or may not come, but fulfillment and joy shape you into a grateful author.
Cindy Sproles is an award-winning author and popular speaker. She is the cofounder of Christian Devotions ministries and managing editor of Straight Street Books and SonRise Devotionals, imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Cindy is the executive editor of www.christiandevotions.us and www.inspireafire.com. She teaches at writers conferences nationwide and directs The Asheville Christian Writers Conference – Writers Boot Camp.
She is the author of two devotionals, He Said, She Said – Learning to Live a Life of Passion and New Sheets – Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You Can Be. Cindy’s debut novel, Mercy’s Rain, is available at major retailers. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com and book her for your next conference or ladies retreat. Also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.