Saturday, March 07, 2009

Writing: “Sell what you have” (Lk 18:18-22 )

This week's guest blogger is Rev. Debbie Howard. She emailed me after reading the blog and I liked her heart about authors, writing and marketing. Yes, selling, writing, marketing - it's OK. You have to pay to play. :) Go ye. The first two letters in gospel is "GO." And You can't "get out there" without marketing! Marketing is not a sin. If you are a Christian writer, please read this post and subscribe to Rev. Debbie's blog too and reach out. Connect. Create some Synergy Energy!

The words pierced me like a carefully targeted arrow hitting its mark. Yet, I was neither rich, nor young. Neither was I a ruler. Or was I?

There were some things he’d gotten right, this young man which stood questioning Jesus. Yet, there was more required of him. He ruled. But he lacked the ability to exercise dominion in the arena of marketing.

As a young writer, aspiring to see my articles in print, the revelation flooded my understanding jolting my little world of "I-don’t like-to-do-marketing." The words bathed me with new understanding. “Sell what you have.”

It only takes a moment for the higher thoughts of the Lord to penetrate and shatter the hidden secrets of the heart. I, like the rich, young ruler, was holding on to my writing as he did his possessions. With a change of thinking, I pondered the words. “Sell what you have.”

What you have…not what they want.

Sell it! Don’t give it away.

Sell what you have.

You’ve got it, something others need to survive, overcome, endure…succeed.

What have you already written? What have you written that has value? What are you storing up in barns, even building new barns to hold, instead of getting it out into the arena of valued product?

Writers, rich with ideas, must accept the challenge Jesus presented to the young ruler. It requires a change of focus from possessor to promoter. From marks to market. From my possession to my responsibility to get the message out.

What could the rich young ruler have done? What can we, rich young writers do?

Accept the challenge and obey the command.

Hear the affirmation in the command. Ponder this for a moment. Jesus told the man, “Sell what you have.” He obviously knew what the man had. According to the young ruler’s response to the Lord, he kept five of the ten commandments. Jesus did not discount the accomplishment. He could just as well have said, “Don’t keep the secret to your success, the ability to keep these commandments, stored away in your own barn. Make this available for public consumption. Feed those who are struggling with that which you have mastered.”

Jesus’ words of command were also words of encouragement. It was an affirmation of the young man’s wealth. I know what you have. Sell it. Get people to make an exchange. At the same time He was also saying, “There are people out there who are willing to pay for what you are storing.”

Think about this for a moment. This is Jesus speaking. He knows who you are and what you have to offer. He knows the needs of the people and he’s standing before you with one simple command. “Sell what you have.”

Package what you have for public consumption. Someone needs it. Someone will buy it….and you will experience new life. Isn’t that the essence of what Jesus said to the man?

Let’s take this a step further. Let’s brainstorm together. What unmerited thinking shackled the rich young ruler? Could it be summed up by saying, “I don’t know how? I don't have the time. I've never done that before.” After all those are some of the excuse we’ve been using isn’t it? I don’t know how to find out who needs this information. I don’t know how to query an editor. I don’t know how to edit the article. I don’t know how….? Fill in the blank yourself. I’m sure you, like myself, have said it enough times to know the refrain by heart.

Here’s a thought to ponder. This ruler was being challenged by the Lord to expand his knowledge base. Yet, he was content to just “possess.” Many in the body of Christ stand at the same threshold. We possess knowledge of the Christian life. We have overcome in several, if not many, arenas. We have some trophies and we sometimes recall the moments of triumph. But have we recorded those victories, the lessons learned and the encouragement for others?

I want to leave you with this thought today. Are you a rich young ruler? Are you secure in your level of accomplishment? Take this challenge today. What truths have you mastered? What area of your life has been transformed? What "food for thought" do you have that others will be nourished by? Write them. Record them and pass them on. They’re valuable and someone will make an exchange (buy) in order to reach the level of success you are basking in today.

Guest blogger: Rev. Deborah Howard

See too and!

1 comment:

Joy Turner said...

This was an awesome blog post from Rev. Howard and I truly received a blessed deposit from this reading. It also reminded me of the woman in 2 Kings who had but one jar of oil left, she was told to gather as many vessels as she could and begin to fill them with oil. Afterwards she was instructed to "Go sell the oil and pay your debt". This woman and her sons did not starve and they did not suffer lack. I see alot of parallels in my own life to that story particularly in lieu of being laid off recently from a full-time 9-5but as an author, an entreprenuer and musician with marketable skills God is telling me to utilize my gifts (Prov 18:16) to make provisions for my family. There is absolutely nothing wrong or sinful about marketing what you have as long as all things are done according to HIS will and in decency and in order. God Bless and thanks for the encouraging post!


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