Is Writing a White Elephant Gift?

by Tina Yeager


“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”

(James 1:17).


In a white elephant gift exchange, we pass along a well-intended item received on a previous occasion. We either didn’t want or couldn’t find a personal use for the re-gifted “white elephant.” So, the exchange provides an opportunity to laugh at the silly things we didn’t want or couldn’t use.

Sometimes our writing feels like a white elephant gift. We try to make use of the “talent,” but struggle to find a productive place for our words. Others laugh at the notion of Christian communication as a true gift. Even those in our own industry often reject our offerings, passing them along like junk. Rejection and lack of return on our work can tempt us to doubt wordsmithing as a blessing.

Even after publishing a book, the disparity between our investments and profits can trigger questions about the goodness of this gift.

I’ve turned the calling over in my hands and looked toward heaven, “Is this really how my gift is supposed to work, Lord? Or am I using this thing wrong?”

The distracting shadows of the enemy’s lies tempted me to view my gift the wrong way.

The Lord recently whispered messages of joy into my spirit. He used others’ prayers to lift my chin with reminders to rejoice in his presence and words. Especially the words he plants within me to bear fruit for his purpose.

My gift is an opportunity to share in God’s work. Rather than a dreary job I must do, writing should be the joyous gift I’m privileged to unwrap each day. What an honor and delight to crawl up onto my father’s lap and join him in crafting words of inspiration.

As we pass this gift on to others, we must resist the temptation to view wordsmithing as white-elephant junk. As Paul urged Timothy, “I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God” (2 Timothy 1:6), let’s remind one another to rejoice in our opportunities to share our calling of words. After all, this is a divine gift worth unwrapping.

Father, thank you for giving me this glorious opportunity to share in your word-bearing. I’m so grateful for your divine gifts, and even more thankful for the joy of dwelling with you. Remind me daily how to delight in your presence and share your messages with a rejoicing spirit. Amen.



Award-winning author, speaker, licensed counselor, and life coach, Tina encourages audiences to fulfill their potential. She hosts the Flourish-Meant podcast and is a mentor with Word Weavers International. Beautiful Warrior, her book on women’s esteem is available at your favorite retailer. To connect with her, visit

5 thoughts on “Is Writing a White Elephant Gift?”

    1. Thank you for your feedback, Linda. I’m so touched to hear this has blessed you. May the Holy Spirit continue to encourage you in your calling to write.

  1. I struggle with this sometimes then try to remember I must write out of obedience. I do get joy from my writing but the feeling that I am “spitting into the wind” can overwhelm me occasionally. Thanks for the encouragement.

    1. Thanks for your encouraging feedback, Deanna! I’m so blessed to know the devotional has been helpful to you! Blessings, sister-writer!

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