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The Pencil: God Sharpens the Ones He Uses

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. (John 15:2, NLT

A Word For Writers

The Pencil: a #devotional for writers based on John 15:2 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips #TheWritingLife

“I am a little pencil in God's hands,” wrote Mother Teresa (1910-1997) in The Joy of Loving. “He does the thinking. He does the writing. He does everything. Sometimes it is really hard because it is a broken pencil and He has to sharpen it a little more.” 

The word picture of a pencil is a powerful one for writers. You’re not jotting down your own thoughts. Instead, you are an instrument in God’s hands. 

And fortunately, as a pencil, you can make corrections.

But like Mother Teresa pointed out, a pencil either breaks (at worst) or must be sharpened (at best). 

In Bible times, that meant using a penknife to shave the edges of the reed, allowing it to absorb ink into the stalk and write clearly.

For me, sharpening means God whittles away my unnecessary excess. Sometimes that means editing so His message is clearer. But often, God’s sharpening means He must cut away my self-centered words and self-promoting style so that his truth is what remains on the paper.

When I’m being sharpened, God can best use my words.

A Wise Word

God sharpens His pencils.

A Word To Pray

Heavenly Father,

I want my writing to be fruitful. Often, I place my own agenda ahead of yours or use my platform even when I haven’t consulted you. Forgive me. Sharpen me and whittle away what is not of you so I can share your truths clearly.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.


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