Give Your Way to Success
by Dr. Katherine Hutchinson Hayes
(Luke 6:38 NIV).
Several years ago, a military organization (PWOC) came alongside my family to raise money and resources for a mission trip to an orphanage in Jamaica. I believed that this was my first mission trip. But in retrospect, I’d been on many other mission trips to Jamaica since early childhood without realizing it. My Jamaican parents had been packing suitcases and barrels for friends and family whenever traveling back to their homeland. They’d taught us the empowerment that comes from giving to others. They also demonstrated that we shouldn’t wait until we have an abundance to give.
My prayer today is that we evaluate our writing lives to determine how we can give to fellow authors in the sense that Jesus meant in Luke 6:38. Scripture encourages us to give money to the church and others in need. But that’s a different conversation. However, God calls us to live out three radical, counter-cultural behaviors. The verses in the passage (Luke 6:27-38) have been grouped by the specific behavior so that we can see the repetition and the entirety of God’s comments on each behavior. Jesus repeats these behaviors three times in his sermon to emphasize this point. What if writers determine to give our way to success—the way God describes success in the following ways?
- Give Love: In the world of unbelievers, people love those who love them. Yet Jesus calls us to an extreme practice. To love those who hate us—to be radically counter-cultural in how we live with and treat others. We can help other authors who aren’t believers through our acts of love, support, honor, and skills.
- Give Blessings: The divisive nature of our culture has impacted the publishing world. But Jesus directs us to pray for people who dislike us or don’t share our beliefs. Jesus tells us we should not condemn them, which is precisely what most people do. The world seeks revenge, while Jesus calls us to seek blessings for others. We can help authors radically by praying for them and helping them achieve their best.
- Give Release: The world watches our behavior toward each other. As authors, are we living lives that are forgiving? Do we harbor bitterness and a harsh attitude toward others? Jesus reminds us to forgive, and we will be forgiven (Luke 6:37).
Famous African American author Maya Angelou said, “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” What if we also, as Christian authors, looked to make a real, lasting difference in this world by giving? Unlike other aspects of life, giving allows us to make a lasting difference, and it’s rewarding to see our direct impact. Maybe it’s time we examine our writing lives to see what we can share with others. Jesus demonstrated we don’t have to wait until we’re wildly successful to give love, blessings, and release to fellow authors. The result of giving is a unique joy, no matter how big or small the sacrifice.
Dear God, thank you for giving me the talent, skills, and resources to be an author. Help me share my blessings by providing someone else with hope and opportunity. Please help me plant seeds of encouragement and happiness through giving. Amen.
Katherine is a counselor, consultant, author, and owns an event-planning business. Her art and writing are distinguished by awards including the New York Mayor’s Contribution to the Arts, Outstanding Resident Artist of Arizona, and Foundations Awards at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference. Katherine loves speaking to groups, delivering messages with quick wit and real-life stories. Connect at https://godslittleblackdress.com/ or https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Little-Black-Dress-Women/dp/1365056163