“Is writing something you do or something you are?” The question’s an interesting one, and my answer may be at odds with the majority. Writing is something I do. While it’s extremely important to me and I love it, it isn’t who I am.
I mark the difference because finding my identity in writing is not a safe place to be. I’m more apt to respond incorrectly to criticism. I’m more likely to trust in my own abilities rather than the One who gave them to me. I would treasure the talent more than the Giver.
That I must not do. My ability to write is a gift. The fact that I write “fast” is due to being given that gift and my working to improve it. I have a responsibility to exercise the gift and to be faithful with it just as I must be responsible with the other gifts and blessings I’m given.
The moment I start to hold onto those things and to say they’re “mine” is the moment I begin to lose them. I become fearful that the gift will disappear. My security becomes tied to it and it alone. I worry that a failed piece of writing equals a failure in who I am as a person. I start to question why anybody would ever hire or employ me.
No, to be confident as a writer I have to let go of the writer label. I have to find my identity in who I am in Christ and in no other thing. In Him, I am perfectly loved. I don’t have to be afraid or worry about being abandoned. When I rest in Him, I’m able to let go of the gifts and see them and me become the things they were always meant to be, the things they could only become by offering them to the One who gave them to me in the first place.
Image: Leland Francisco (Creative Commons)