I know better. And yet I did it anyway.
Not my fault, really. I never would have given in if I hadn’t seen that best-seller list. With that name. That author who started years after I did. Who was getting all the accolades, all the lists, all the awards…
I mean, I’d had a book on the bestseller list. So what if it was years ago? So what if the book that mattered most to me got panned by an important industry magazine? I wasn’t writing for the kudos. I was writing for God.
What is so great about that author’s book? Why are readers going gaga? Hmmm…I’ll do it. Just for a second. Just hop on over and see what I can learn from the reviews. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. Learn. It’s not like I’m looking for the negative ones, hoping to feast on criticism about the writ…
Oh. Gee. There aren’t any negative ones.
Man! It’s just not fair! That’s it. I’m done! Why do I even keep trying? Readers wouldn’t know quality writing if it walked up and bit them on the nose! This is it…This is the end of my career…I’m gonna go raise dogs. THEY will love me! Waaahhhhhh!
Ah, jealousy. That insidious, twisting, warping tool that the enemy loves to use. It dances inside of us, coaxing us down the treacherous path of comparison.
Friends, the moment we give in, the second we turn our eyes from the One who gave us this task of writing and onto others who’ve also been given this task—
Today, let me give you a tip. The next time this ugly little pixie tries to pry open your heart and mind, you can stop it cold by turning from comparison to celebration. For the very person you almost envied. Or, okay, that you do envy. Take a moment, admit that sin, and then smash this obstacle into smithereens by offering a prayer of celebration that another traveller on this rocky, challenging road has succeeded. Because that means God’s truth, as He’s asked that person to share it, is reaching those who need it! Make the focus God, His truth, and that person. Don’t ask for yourself. Leave your hopes and dreams in the only Hands that will bring them to fruition as He sees fit. Get your focus off of you, and onto Him. And His people.
Then move on. Get back to work. And while you’re at it, embrace these truths to shatter Writers’ Obstacle #8: Jealousy and Comparison–
Proverbs 14:30— A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones.
Proverbs 27:4— Anger is cruel, and wrath is like a flood, but jealousy is even more dangerous.
Galatians 5:15, 19-23–So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves…. When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear:…quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition…envy… and other sins like these. Let me tell you again…that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control….Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.
John 15:4-5 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”
2 Timothy 1:9–He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.