God’s Endorsement (Five Minute Friday #FMF)

Kreg Steppe https://flic.kr/p/4QTYwq

Photo credit: Kreg Steppe Creative Commons licence

 

Endorsements are coming in for my book, and it is making me compare my past and present selves.

In the past, like Peter Pan and his shadow, I have stitched myself to my work. If someone praises my writing; they praise me. If someone is impacted by my message – why, then, I am important, and everyone should listen to me. The converse would therefore also be true: if someone rejected my book, they rejected me. If someone criticised my book, then I was unfit to be called human. And – of course – I would believe the negative things as true and the positive ones as pity-lies.

If someone criticised my book, then I was unfit to be called human. And – of course – I would believe the negative things as true and the positive ones as pity-lies.

Now, I am better at accepting the differences between me and my writing. (Not completely perfect, you understand, just better). I am not my work, and my work is not me. In our work-obsessed societies, this is increasingly difficult to distinguish.

There are a thousand reasons why someone may not like your work, and most of them are none of your business. I know this because I am a reader. There are times when I know a Christian book is objectively good, but it’s not my genre, or I’m not quite with them on the theology, or they’re talking from life experiences very different from mine. Right now, I have a few books I know I will love, but I just don’t have time to read it. (Who knew that book launches were so time-consuming??)

This is the only way to accept praise and criticism, especially of your work – with a light hand. Don’t swallow the opinions down: the good ones are too saccharine, the bad ones too bitter to digest. Hold them in your hand lightly.

Even as I prepare for a book release, I am unstitching myself from the work. Peter Pan needed his shadow to follow him, and he held it down and bound it to himself – but how much more fun to see your shadow dancing of its own accord, going where it wants?

***

I am chewing on the words of affirmation God spoke over Jesus when he was baptised. By extension, if we are baptised into Christ, those words now apply to us, too.

Therefore God says to you,
“You are my child, whom I love. With you I am well pleased.”

For a good endorsement, you’re looking for a combination of positive words from a really important person. The more positive the words and the more important the person, the better the endorsement.

So to all who feel discouraged, who look to others for reassurance, hungry for words of praise, know this:

You can’t get a better endorsement than that which you already have.

 

 

“And a voice came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’”

Mark 1:11, NIVUK

 

You can't get a better endorsement than that which you already have (from God) Click To Tweet Don't swallow the opinions down: the good ones are too saccharine, the bad ones too bitter Click To Tweet To all who feel discouraged, who look to others for reassurance- Click To Tweet

Over to you: 

  • How do you deal with praise and criticism?
  • In what ways do you stitch yourself to your own work?
  • What does it mean to you to speak Mark 1:11 over your life?

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21 Responses to God’s Endorsement (Five Minute Friday #FMF)

  1. christina 28th September, 2017 at 8:45 am #

    Thank you Tanya! As so often: your words bring live and truth to me. Having just released my second book (in german) I so know what you mean! “My work is not me, and I am not my work!” So good! I heard from Corrie ten Boom how she dealt with compliments: “It`s like flowers I receive. I say thank you and enjoy the beauty of it and then I pass it on to God.” I like that. “light handed”, like you wrote. Also I am trying to remind myself again and again, that the most important voice is the voice of Jesus. What HE thinks is all that matters in the end. I just forget that so easlily :-). God bless you Tanya, and I am sure your book brings blessing and encouragement to so many!

  2. Ruth 25th September, 2017 at 1:41 am #

    Yes. A reminder that we all need, we recovering achievement addicts! I love how you’ve gone back to God’s endorsement of Jesus. Wow… I guess Jesus fielded his fair share of criticism and hostility as well as gushing praise, from the crowds who heard him speak. God’s endorsement must have been the thing that kept him grounded when public opinion on his words oscillated so wildly. Thank you for this timely reminder, and may you keep inclining your ear to God’s resoundingly positive endorsement of you as his beloved daughter as your book launch proceeds and the reviews roll in (or don’t?!). ?

    • Tanya 13th October, 2017 at 11:32 pm #

      Hi, fellow achievement-addict! Yes, it’s weird thinking of Jesus as a celebrity in his own day, and how he responded to the fame, isn’t it? But a good thought to ponder. Thsnks for these lovely affirming words

  3. Janyre Tromp 23rd September, 2017 at 5:26 pm #

    If we’re doing the work he’s called us to, we will indeed hear, “You are my child, whom I love. With you I am well pleased.” But so often listening to the endorsements or criticisms prevent us from following. Being an artist of any kind is such a tough road to walk. God bless the book launch 🙂 Coming to you from FMF #38.

    • Tanya 13th October, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

      Thanks for cheering with me about the book launch! Only 3 days to go now!

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