Sunday, April 10, 2022

Do the Right Write


by Martin Wiles @LinesFromGod

They tried not to, but they just couldn’t help themselves. 

Computer class. I was the teacher, assigning my students papers to write. The trouble? Two middle school classes and several high school classes used the same computers. On those computers existed the files of all the students who used them currently and had in the past. Any student could access or alter any of the files. And some of mine had. 

How did I know? A few students in the class finished assignments too quickly. When I investigated, I discovered their antics. They had found a file of another student—who had already completed the assignment—and then copied and pasted it into their document. After renaming it as their own, they proudly said, “I’m finished.” 

One young man, more honorable than the rest who didn’t admit what they had done, approached me and asked if he could do what his classmates had done. I told him no. He didn’t. Others did it without asking. I reminded them about plagiarism and its consequences, both inside and outside the classroom. Since I’m older and wiser—and probably would have done the same thing when I was their age—I figured out a way to help them do the right write.

Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it polite? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right?”

Paul must have known how easy it can be to tire of doing the right things, especially when the crowd typically does the wrong thing. He encouraged the Thessalonians to keep doing right, regardless of what others did.

“As for the rest of you, dear brothers and sisters, never get tired of doing good” (2 Thessalonians 3:13 NLT).

The right thing for us writers is to use the write voice God has given us. I’ll never be a Max Lucado, Charles Stanley, Steven King, or J. K. Rowling. Early in my writing journey, this bothered me, but not anymore. Sure, I could gorge on their works so much that I could learn to sound like them, but that’s not God’s plan for me or any other writer. God wants us to write with the right voice—the one He has given us. Whether our books become best-sellers isn’t the point. Nor is whether our devotions, articles, or short stories get accepted by name-brand publications. The right write uses the voice God gave us and trusts Him to do what He wills with our writing. 

Doing the right morally also takes courage. For the one young man who refused to follow the example of many of his classmates, doing right meant more time working on the assignment—and even doing so at home while the others probably played video games or socialized with their friends. 

Standing alone comes with a price. So does ignoring the pressure by others to take the shortcut, even if it violates moral principles and ethical writing principles. 

Only by the grace and strength of God’s Spirit can we consistently do the right thing—and the write thing. The Bible defines this as integrity, and, as writers and believers, we need to show the world an abundance of this. 

Ask God for the courage to do the right thing (and the right write) under all circumstances.

TWEETABLE

Martin Wiles is the founder of Love Lines from God (www.lovelinesfromgod.com) and serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions, Senior Editor for Inspire a Fire, and Proof Editor for Courier Publishing. He has authored six books and has been published in numerous publications. His most recent book, DON'T JUST LIVE...REALLY LIVE, debuted in October of 2021. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, author, and pastor.

4 comments:

  1. The really cool thing is, I don't need to be a best selling author to make a difference. I only need to be willing to put myself out there. ~God wants us to write with the right voice-the one He has given us~ Thank you, Martin for for this reminder. Blessing to you.

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  2. "God wants us to write with the right voice—the one He has given us." Yes. Thank you for the reminder.

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