by Kathy Harris
Read today’s headlines and you quickly realize there’s a lack of love in our world. Not the Fifty Shades of Grey kind of love. Or even the self-promoting, entitlement kind of self-love that our culture encourages. Our world needs more of the agape love that Jesus instructed us to have for one another.
What does that have to do with Christian fiction? Everything.
No matter where you are in your journey as a writer, I believe there are two steps that will bring you more success. The first is to continue to learn the craft. The second is to apply the counsel of 1 Corinthians 13:1, 4-8.
Let’s take a look at this passage verse by verse (NIV) and see what it has to say to those of us who write.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
If you’re a successful writer, or if you want to become one, be patient. Don’t worry about the pace at which your career is growing (or the pace at which your peers excel). Instead, remember that God’s timing is perfect in your life. Then, once you have found your success, stay mindful of who you are, a unique creator who was also created. Create with love, as you were created out of love.
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
As a longtime member of ACFW, I know first hand that Christian fiction authors are some of the most loving and generous people in the world. Can we improve on that? Sure we can.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
Some translations of this verse replace the word evil with injustice. Always respond prayerfully and out of love to injustice. (Most people will tell you, however, to not reply to what you perceive as “unjust” reviews.)
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
What writer hasn’t learned the power of perseverance? And part of persevering is trusting, trusting that God has a plan for you and your words.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
In the end, nothing remains except love. Not our words, but His. Not our works, but what we do out of love for Him.
If you want to become a successful writer by the world’s standards, sell books. But if you want to become a successful writer by God’s standards, apply His Word to your career. Reach out to readers, and to other writers.
1vIf I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
If we want our words to truly resonate, we must send them out into the world with love.
Kathy Harris is an author by way of a “divine detour” into the Nashville entertainment industry. Her first book, The Road to Mercy, released in 2012. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency. Read her blog, follow her on Facebook or catch her on Twitter.