Friday, July 3, 2009

No Editing Needed

"Do not add to his words..." Proverbs 30:6

I received an e-mail from a lady at my church asking if I would consider editing a speech that she was preparing to give at an upcoming event with her family. I was blown away by this request. Why did she ask me? I'm not an editor. What did I know about revising anyone's writing? Did I even want the responsibility of looking over her carefully crafted preparation and correcting grammatical errors and sentence structure? What if I happened to offend her by correcting her work? I am far from a genius in the literary field, but I do have a passion for writing and a willingness to be available, so I agreed to at least look over her writing and gently 'tweak' it if necessary.

It's a daunting job playing 'Editor', and I do mean 'playing', as I've had absolutely no training. Meshing together someone else's words without inserting my own opinion or disturbing the authors perspective and personality. It was so tempting to insert my own thoughts and delete sentences based solely on individual preference. By the time I finished, I truly believe I kept her ideas intact. The message remained the same, just packaged with some new expression.

I wonder if I sometimes take on the role of "Editor" when it comes to God's Word. Do I believe that every sentence in the Bible is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, training and correcting? (2 Timothy 3:16) Do I believe that every sentence, every word, every thought in the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit? Do I sometimes desire to add or delete certain phrases, words and even complete passages based on my obedience quotient? God's directives that fit neatly into my life with relative ease I'll embrace and follow, but those that require effort, surrender and change I'll omit or re-write to suit my schedule and agenda. After all, God certainly didn't mean we had to follow ALL of His Word did He? It's not really commandments, but simply suggestions....right?

WRONG!! God doesn't want me to change one 'jot' or 'tittle'. I must leave every 'i' dotted and every 't' crossed, for "not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappear until its purpose is achieved." (Matt 5:18). So, although I had freedom to edit this ladies paper, I do not, DO NOT have permission to edit God's Word. I must read it and apply all of it to all of my life.

Oh how I pray that the Lord will keep me faithful in the reading and sharing of His Word. May I not look to God's Word to make editorial corrections, but instead may I allow the Divine Editor to use it to refine my life and change my character to match my calling.

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Lutiemom said...

Thanks, Joy. What insight you have; it makes me wonder if my life radiates that I actually believe that "Every word of God proves true..." (Prov 30:5) or do I "add to his words" by my daily walk, words I say...etc. Do I edit His promises by thinking I am not worthy of recieving them? Do I stand on His word or waver in my own belief? We know His word is true yet do we live like we know it; or do we edit His word?

This is really something for me to ponder, today. Thanks, Joy. I hope you have a beautiful weekend. (It's been a wonderful week.)


Anonymous said...

Thanks Joy for all your insights. I truly feel that what you have in writing and expression is a gift from God.This week has been beautiful,a sheer delight. I thank God for you.

Have a wonderful day and a blessed weekend.

Hightly Favored

Elle Elle said...

I, too, have been asked to edit materials (not simply proof read) and like you, Joy, I find it a daunting job. As you say, the challenge is to leave the tone and the personality of the writer/speaker who has asked you to edit, but to "clean it up" (so to speak) so it is a bit more listener or reader friendly.

Isn't that what God does with us?

We are his precious creations...each of us formed and called to his purpose...each of us in need of some editing. Sometimes the editing is gentle, sometimes it is more of a thorough scrubbing, but alweays he leaves the core of who we are and were meant to be in place.

We are all more reader and listener friendly when we sit in God's lap and let him read to us...this has been a powerful lesson in my life his week and a repeated theme, so I know God wants me to share it again.

Thank you Joy for an inspired week of writing. Your heart, mind & "pen" are surely tuned in to God's leading and teaching and we are all edited & enriched by your anointing.

Blessings to all this holiday weekend!


Anonymous said...

I hear ya on this subject! I've really awakened to understanding that the ENTIRE Bible needs to be taken as God's direction/law/guidance for us and not to pick and choose the words that I like or I find easy.
I struggle with finding that balance in not judging others but calling a sin a sin, and not excusing the sins. You get what I mean? I have homosexuals in my life, and I gently try to get the point across that I love them, but their actions are sinful according to God's law. Not condoning their behavior, not arguing and fighting, loving them, such a tender balance to find. I search God's word for direction alot in this area. I must also remember that (for example) worry, pride, laughing at crude jokes, etc...are all sinful to God too and that I cannot lessen my sins in God's eyes.
Also reading the verses of Proverbs 31 was great....need I say more?


Lori said...

Happy Friday Dear Girlfriends!

Joy, Thank you for serving us this week! It's quite obvious to all of us the talent that God has blessed you with. Your words speak to our hearts in a beautiful way.

Earlier this week I was led, out of the blue, to read through Proverbs 31! I was in the kitchen and I heard the whispers to stop what I was doing, and read this chapter! So, today when we ended with this chapter I thought, "Wow, God is really talking to me!"

We see the qualities of a virtuous woman:
*supportive of her husband

*How do we acquire these qualities?

God is showing me more and more that by spending time with Him and developing my relationship with Him - through personal time in prayer and reading God's Word, He is helping me to strengthen these virtuous qualities. I seek Him and ask Him what He wants of me...Daily, I ask him how I can be a blessing to my husband and family...I want to reflect Him in my words and actions.

He always comes through. My relationship with the Lord comes first. Oh Lord, thank you for providing me with the tools and blessing me with people that encourage me to grow closer to You. You know what I need, even when I don't! God, You are BIG. Bigger than my mind can even comprehend at this moment.

Dear Lord, Help me recognize my need for your help if I am to emulate the qualities of the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31. Build these character traits into my life. Amen.

Intentionally living for Christ today, Lori - AZ

Laura said...

I love the way you see a Word from Him in everything, Joy.

You are such a blessing.

Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Joy, I have been so blessed this week. You did an amazing job covering for Wendy while she enjoyed her family on vacation.

You have a gift from God indeed. Keep writing and sharing your heart for Him. Keep His Word as the only written authority for your life. He will continue to bless you!

"...for You have exalted above all things Your name and Your word." Psalm 138:2