Sunday, September 17, 2017

Discouragement Can be a Good Thing For Writers

by Andy Lee @WordsByAndyLee

"Allow God to turn your writing discouragement meant around into something good ." ~Andy Lee
Discouragement is disillusioned self-love, and self-love may be love for my devotion to Jesus–not my love for Jesus Himself. ~ Oswald Chambers
You might want to read that again. It took me a couple of times. Oswald never tip-toed around the hard stuff. He always called it as he saw it. When I comprehended this sentence above, the words went straight to my human heart.

Me? Self-love? Love for my devotion to Jesus rather than love for Jesus Himself? Um . . . maybe? Maybe I’m more in love with the ministry, the doing, the accomplishments or even the sacrifices for Christ.

Pride lurks around every corner of discouragement.

It’s so human to become discouraged. Comparison takes us out of the race. Give up. Succumb to the truth that we’re not Beth Moore or Max Lucado and never will be.

But discouraged places give us time to reflect on our motives and make a heart change.

We wallow in the slime of self-pity, until we’re tired of it, and then Holy Spirit can give us new vision and perspective. Discouragement can send us back to Jesus. Back to the reason why we write.

Back to the God and the calling we can’t deny.

God hasn’t called us to be a BIG somebody—even if that’s what the publisher and agents want.  He’s called us to follow Him. Whatever that looks like.

He’s called us to make a difference in our part of the world. He’s called us to live with eternal perspective.

Writing for Eternity

Have you heard the quote, “Some people feel they have to say something, but some have something to say.”?

I want to be in the latter group. I want to write only what’s been soaked in the Holy Spirit. Our words bring new life when we write out of our healing and passion. We’re not writing just to write or speaking just to speak, but we’re persuaded to do so because of the weight of the message.

Are we writing to check the box for a day’s job done? Or does every word penned by our hand (via the keyboard on our laptop) hold significant value and purpose?

I know we will write articles and knock out assignments that don’t hold the weight of eternity; sometimes we write the freelance article or travel post to get the paycheck. But even in those articles, we have no idea what covering our words in prayer will do for the one reading. We don’t know how it will speak to their heart.

Writing for the Heart

We write to give information, but a gifted writer uses words to teach or tell the story in such a way, with speckles of beauty and glory, that the story draws in the heart as well as the mind. Not too bland yet not too poetic. Written not only with clods of earth but also with glimpses of heaven. You know those writers, the ones whose words make you sigh and your heart swell.

Have you been discouraged lately?

Take time this week for self-inventory. Ask yourself,
“Am I in love with Jesus or my devotion to Jesus?”
Am I writing because I feel like I have to say something? Or do I write because I have something to say?
Are my words simply feeding the mind or do they stir the heart too?

Allow God to turn your discouragement around into something good. Let it make you a better writer.


Andy Lee is a Bible teacher, blogger, and author of A Mary Like Me: Flawed Yet Called (Leafwood, 2016) and The Book of Ruth Key Word Bible Study: A 31-Day Journey to Hope and Promise (AMG Publishers). Visit her site, where Andy digs deep to live fully and join her daily with hundreds of viewers on her Bite of Bread Facebook Live broadcast at 8:20 AM ET to start your day in the Word.


  1. Wow! Thank you Andy. I read Oswell too and appreciate his ability to send direct messages to our hearts as you did here. Blessings, Julie

  2. What a powerful post! So much to ponder and pray about. Thank you.

  3. Convicting and true. Thank you Andy and Oswald. Great question: do I love the ministry more than Jesus?

  4. Andy: I,also, thank you or sharing Oswald Chambers with us today. He always gets my attention with what he says. As a Christian writer, I know I have to be careful of loving my writing and not loving the LORD.

  5. Andy, what an insightful post! I need to read it over and over and let it sink in so discouragement won't let me sink in the mire. Thank you!

  6. Wow. I needed this. Thanks, Andy. You always inspire.

  7. Powerful truth. Thanks for sharing, Andy.