An online devotional for writers
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. (James 4:10, NLT)
“We cannot use this piece as is, but please submit your article re write according to our guidelines.”
The online message wasn’t an outright rejection. Nevertheless, I was annoyed. The article re write meant investing time to rework the content I’d already slaved on … and then risking rejection yet again when I resubmitted it. I had published hundreds of articles in other magazines and on other websites. Would I ever break into this publication?
Then as I examined the editor’s comments further, a layer of embarrassment blanketed my frustration. The editor asked me to follow the publication’s formatting rules, which had been clearly outlined in their submission policy. I hadn’t paid close attention to those directions. That faux pas was the sign of an amateur, not a professional. No question: in my rush to submit the article, I had raced through the writer’s guidelines and had missed a few key instructions.
Now, before I continued with the article re write, I stopped to assess my mind and my heart. What I found there was not pretty.
Years of publication had built a subtle sheen of pride around my writer’s heart. Where once upon a time an article re write meant the opportunity to hone my craft, now it meant inconvenience. As a younger writer, my inexperience meant that I carefully adhered to guidelines, but now I skimmed through instructions because, “I’ve read it all before.”
Humility is the hallmark of a mature believer, but also the honorable attribute of a mature writer. After downing a nice slice of humble pie, I was ready for the article re write. And the article was published.
James put it well: Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. (James 4:10, NLT)
A rewrite makes a stronger piece.
I ask forgiveness for pride that creeps into my writer’s heart. Help me write with humility, knowing that my ideas and words are a gift from you. Let me rewrite and hone and edit so that my work can reflect your best.
In Jesus’s name, Amen.
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