Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Profile of the Lukewarm Writer

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

I love hot baths, especially when a thick layer of soapy, sweet-scented bubbles are added to the mix. During said bath, if the water begins to turn tepid, I reach my toe up, kick the hot water on, wait for it … wait for it … and when the water is perfect again, I turn the water off. 

Lukewarm baths are for fever reductions, not for relaxing with a good book, I say.

In Crazy Loveauthor Francis Chan begins chapter four profile of the lukewarm with a quote from Frederic D. Huntington, an American clergyman who lived from 1819-1904. I want to stress those dates before you read his quoted words—1819-1904.

Huntington wrote: It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going hollow-hearted prosperity.

Well, sir, if you think it was bad in your day …

Chan goes on to remind the reader of one of Jesus' parables that goes like this:

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field (Matthew 13:44).

Do you understand, believing writer, what you have in your heart—what you have in your pen, so to speak—if you have discovered that field already? If you own the treasure of the kingdom of heaven? 

But, when your words are written … when your work is published … where is your real treasure? Are you looking at how big the dollar sign will be on your contract? How many zeros and commas are in the equation? Are you standing back in a bookstore, gauging how many copies of your book can be found on the shelves as in comparison to So-n-So’s work?

Chan goes on to remind his readers of another parable: The Parable of the Sower. I’m putting it here for you to read again before I give you one of Chan’s next lines … one that may rock you as it rocked me.

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake.Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown(Matthew 13: 1-8, NIV).

And here’s one of Chan’s next lines: Do not assume you are good soil.


Just because we are Christian writers (not necessarily that our work is published by Christian houses or is sold only in Christian bookstores or among the “Religious” bookshelves of any general bookstore) does not mean we are good soil. It does not mean we are hot

I will be honest and tell you this rocked me to my toes … and it should. I don’t (Do. Not.) want to be lukewarm. I don’t want to be tepid when it comes to where my heart lies when it comes to writing good work that will, whether directly or indirectly, point the heart of others toward the truth and goodness of God. I don’t ever want my work to become about the contract offers … or the book sales … or the climb up the bestseller lists. And if it ever has in the past—and it has—God forgive me. Please. I repent before this “great cloud of witnesses.”

So, where are you? Lukewarm? Hot? Freezing cold? What and where and to Whom is your desire?


Eva Marie Everson is the multiple award-winning and bestselling author of over 35 books, both fiction and nonfiction. She is the president of Word Weavers International and the director of Florida Christian Writers Conference and North Georgia Christian Writers Conference. Eva Marie and her husband make their home in Central Florida where they enjoy a lake view, their children, and grandchildren. They are owned by a very small dog.


  1. For whose profit indeed Ms. Eva Marie. Well said ma'am. Too often we forget who our audience should be. The increase is His ma'am. God's blessings.

  2. Confession time: when it gets hard, it's easy to grow lukewarm. To slough off. Thank you for the timely "toe-cruncher," Eva Marie. It's the best gift you could have given me, my dear friend; the gift of holding me accountable.

    1. Ane, sometimes I think that when it's smooth sailing that I feel myself growing lukewarm. When things get tough I suddenly remember Who holds the promises … shame on me. :/

  3. Such a powerful post, Eva Marie! Thanks for sharing. I definitely do NOT want to be a lukewarm writer!

    1. Me either, Darlene! Let's hold each other up in prayer!

  4. Wonderful message, thank you for sharing it.

  5. “ good work that will, whether directly or indirectly, point the heart of others toward the truth and goodness of God” —that’s the question I’ve been asking myself. Am I writing to amuse myself, dream of making a little money, feeling some accomplishment, or pointing the heart of others toward God? I think it’s been more the former. Thanks for the clarification, EvaMarie.

  6. I loved this and needed this push. Thank you!

    By the way, I looked up your website after reading this post -- who would've thought there would be another Eva Marie Everson with a website?! My name's fairly common, but yours definitely is not. :-)

    1. I know, right? Can you believe someone is name squatting. And, by the way, I researched it with GoDaddy (which is how it was originally set up) and there IS NO OTHER EME who is a writer and speaker! :)

  7. My desire is to write stories and devotionals that will bring people closer to God. :-)