Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive
yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22 NIV
I've learned a lot about writing over the last few months. But at the moment, it isn't doing me a bit of good.
I know more about character arc, novice mistakes, ways to make a character's emotional expressions more powerful, and rhetorical devices than I did at the end of 2011. A LOT more. And all this knowledge could help me greatly in making my current (or future) work in process a better, more compelling read.
But just because I have the knowledge doesn't mean I'll actually use it.I remember vividly learning at least some of these things before. But did I apply them to my writing? Not necessarily. Having the knowledge is not enough - I must actually apply it to what I am working on (in this case, Handmaiden to a Princess)
This isn't only true in writing. James speaks of people who do the very same thing with God's Word.
Do you not only read your Bible, but do what it says? Do you listen to, AND put into practice, the message your pastor preaches? Do you listen for God, then act on what you hear? If not, you may not be any better off than if you hadn't heard at all.
I'm planning to spend April going through my current manuscript, finding places to apply the lessons I've learned from Mary O'Gara, Kathy Ide, Margie Lawson and others during the first quarter of 2012. I will purposefully use what I have learned to improve my story.
I'll do the same with what I read in my Bible, learn in Sunday School, and hear in our pastor's messages. For acting on those truths will do more than bring me closer to a publishing contract: it will draw me closer to my Savior.
How often do you "go through the motions" with your Bible reading? Do you take the lessons you learn from the Lord and apply them to your life, or is the Bible just another book to you? What stops you from doing what the Word says?
Comment below, and/ or stop by Living by Grace and we can chat a bit!
Traveling Rough Roads With God's Strength