The Highest and Best
by Marie Grace
(1 Corinthians 12:31, CEB).
How do I serve my Lord? I’ll need to begin each day with his words on my lips and his excellence in my heart. To fulfill his goals for me, I must recognize myself as a clay pot in the process of being shaped. As God’s messenger, success depends upon my submission to God’s pattern and purpose for my life.
Christian writers don’t triumph by causing others to lose. Though an athlete may win by defeating his opponent, he demonstrates sportsmanship by doing so with grace. When excellence begins with my character, then and only then does my performance have eternal value and earthly good. Such living requires obedience, discipline, and determination, and proves as strenuous as athletic endeavors. God’s word offers me standards for aligning my character with the integrity of his purpose.
As a Christian writer, my highest goal is writing the messages God has given me with exceptional craft. We cannot achieve excellence in isolation, but rather in a healthy inter-dependence upon others and total dependence on the Holy Spirit. We can learn our craft best in community with other writers. Critique groups and professional conferences can provide much-needed support, growth, and connections.
As we strive to connect and improve, we can struggle with setbacks. The Bible doesn’t guarantee earthly rewards for our best efforts. Human standards for success differ from God’s. When I face discouragement, I turn to his word to center my hope on the Lord. Joseph’s faithfulness amid profound adversity encourages me, as do the stories of God’s servants in Hebrews 11. I’m grateful for the scriptures which help me persevere on my writing journey and guide my soul to align with the highest and best.
Father, sometimes it seems I’m tiptoeing through a minefield of thoughts and desires that stray far from godly excellence. My heart wants everything you are in a more excellent way. I pray all my thoughts, words and actions flow from clean hands, a pure heart, and the mind of Christ. Amen
Marie Grace’s story speaks volumes to those who have been bound by life’s inequalities. She is comfortable with all walks of life. A voice for the voiceless, she dares to speak boldly the message of hope, ministering to those that seek to discover freedom from life’s wrongs and the choice to move beyond to a place of God’s redemption.