Not My Words

by Alice Murray


“I have put my words in your mouth”

(Isaiah 51:16a, NIV).


My finger hovered over “enter” on my laptop’s keyboard. I hesitated to submit my work online. Once my piece was out in cyberspace, it was gone. It would still exist, but it would no longer be mine. The words I created could then be utilized or changed without my input; my work could be published without attribution to me. Yet, if I did not hit submit, my words might never appear before the public. Taking a deep breath, I pushed the button to send my creative baby on its way into the big, wide world.

I take pride in my work as a writer. Even short pieces may take hours of tweaking and agonizing over just the right word to use to convey my point. But when this freelance piece of mine was written, I knew from the outset I would never receive credit for my words. That’s how the process worked if this company was to market my article. My piece would be sold. In exchange for payment, I would give up full rights to it. My name would never be connected to the article which reflected some of my best work.

Poor pitiful me. I wouldn’t get credit for my words. What a bummer after laboring over their production. However, a passage in a devotional reading pinpointed the error in my thinking. The Lord told Isaiah he would give him the words to speak. Hmm. Perhaps God was giving me the words to write. Were they really “my” words after all? Sure, I put the fingers to the keys to type them, but who gave me the writing talent that I possess? Who created me with a desire to write?

Writing is a joint project between God and me. He gives me the words, and I should use those words to glorify him instead of worrying about whether I will get credit for them.

Lord: Thank you for the words you provide to me for my writing. Help me to focus on their true source and to use them to get the word out about you. Amen.



Alice H. Murray is a lawyer by profession and a writer by passion. She is a staff writer for and has written articles for legal professional magazines, her local paper, and a missions magazine. Alice’s work has been published in a Chicken Soup For the Soul book and in four books of the Short And Sweet compilation book series.

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