Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Extolling Humility

by Eva Marie Everson @EvaMarieEverson

A few years back I had the pleasure and honor of working on a project with Reverend Eric Eichinger who had been contracted by Tyndale Publishers to write a biography about Reverend Eric Liddell (1902 – 1945).

Thirty-one years after his death, Liddell had been made famous (again) by the 1981 movie Chariots of Firewhich told the story of his determination not to run on a Sunday, which he was slated for. Eichinger and I were to be a part of making him famous yet again with our book The Final Race (Tyndale, 2018).

In the years leading up to the 1924 Olympics, Eric Liddell had trained as a 100-meter runner and had done well. He was “the man to beat.” The “Flying Scotsman.” And he was a shoo-in to bring glory back to a country beaten down by a World War. But then, upon hearing that his Olympic final was set on Sunday, Eric gave a flat “no.” This was the Lord’s day, he reminded the countrymen who, in hearing his decision, turned on him. He would not and could not take that lightly.

In spite of constant harassment and ridicule, Eric Liddel remained humble yet strong, unwavering in his convictions. In time, and after much prayer, he decided to train for the 400—an unheard and nearly ridiculous idea. Whoever heard of a 100-meter sprinter going for the 400? He would lose, for sure. 

But Eric trained and he trained hard. And, as we all know from the movie (or history), he not only won the Gold, he broke all previous world records, breaking the tape in 47.6 seconds. 

But Liddell was more than merely a national hero, Olympic gold medalist. He became a missionary to China (the land of his birth), and a writer. While serving in China at the onset of World War II, he sent his wife and their daughters back to her home country of Canada, while he determined to remain in service to God.

He, like many others, was subsequently interred by the Japanese in Weihsien Camp. While there, he wrote a book he’d been toying with for some time—The Discipline of the Christian Lifewhich outlined the Christian principles he’d set for himself his entire life, which was quickly coming to an end.

The book was published in 1985, something he would never be aware of. Not that it would have mattered to him—Eric was about extolling humility.

In the book, he wrote: Humility looks at its merits, gifts, and talents but also looks beyond them to God, the Author of every good and perfect gift, and renders all the glory to God (page37). 

Eric knew he was a good runner. A good all-round athlete, in fact. To have denied that would have been absurd. And, I believe, that we—as writers—must acknowledge our own talents because to do so means to give God glory for them. By comparison, to not do so means to deny what God has done for you.

Look at your work. There are times, certainly, when we only bring half our best to the table. We all do this. We are in self-editing mode and we think, no, no, no. This is awful! I cannot believe I wrote this rubbish.

And it is. So, it must be rewritten!

But there are also times when we—go ahead and admit it—read over something we wrote and think wow! I wrote that?

I believe that our gift back to God for this rare and perfect treasure He granted to us is not only to use it for His glory—in whatever form that takes, whether you write articles, or children’s books, or bestselling works of fiction or nonfiction, or blog posts or Sunday school take-home papers—but also to acknowledge that He is the giver of this gift and that we do, in fact, own it. 

And so I say: I am a writer.

I am a good writer.

I am a good writer who has been blessed by God with the rare and perfect gift of being able to see life through the lens of words. 

To believe anything less isn’t humility at all. It’s denying God. 

(1 Samuel 2: 30b)

Dipping the Quill Deeper: Extolling Humility - insight from @EvaMarieEverson on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

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. Eva Marie, I love this. Well said. Hope you have a Merry Christmas.

  2. Beautiful. Timely. True. (And well-written, to God be the glory.)

  3. Ms. Eva Marie. I think more, a good writer, made great by her willingness to serve a great and mighty God. Thank you for these inspiring words this day ma'am. God's blessings.

  4. Thank you! Your words were much needed as I race toward a deadline, knowing God brought me to it and He will bring me through it.