It’s the question that inevitably comes up in writer’s group meetings: Do I really have to use social media to market my book? How can I use Twitter, Facebook, and other social sites without sacrificing my privacy?
There are, of course, some things we can and should do to help protect ourselves. The world can be a scary place, and none of us should take unnecessary risks. But lately, I’ve realized we are asking ourselves the wrong question. The real one digs deeper and is more costly, revealing our hearts’ deepest fears and motives.
This is the Christian writer’s true dilemma: What are we willing to sacrifice to be God’s witnesses to the world through our writing?
Humans hate being vulnerable. It’s one reason we obsess over our author head shots and count the likes on our Facebook posts. It’s why we construct the careful public image we hope others will have of us. We want to be accepted and liked. No one wants to be hurt.
Writing is a hard enough profession on our self-image as it is. We spend countless hours bleeding over a keyboard, only to have a manuscript rejected by a succession of editors. It often takes many years and tears to get established in the publishing world. Along the way we sometimes buy into the promotional poster we have crafted. We have AUTHOR emblazoned on our chests. Cue the book trailer.
The Author of Life, on the other hand, has given us the ultimate example of vulnerability. God, the Bible tells us, is all-knowing and all-powerful. He didn’t need us. Why did He create a universe He knew would turn away from Him? Can we fathom the magnitude of the pain to which the Creator became vulnerable in order to give us life?
We pushed away God in the Garden, and mankind has mocked Him ever since. Yet, after suffering generations of rejection, God has continued to pursue humanity. He didn’t even spare His own Son for us. Jesus came to this planet knowing our rescue would mean sacrifice, hardship, pain, and death. Why did He do it?
For pure love.
He cared more about mankind than He cared about His reputation or His own welfare. He didn’t care what it cost Him, if it meant the deliverance of His beloved creation.
These are the footsteps in which we follow. The Bible, the greatest book, was written in blood by those who were willing to sacrifice their lives and honor for others; who walked behind the Master into the minefield of suffering for the love of mankind.
We who write are part of that great chain of faith. Our words may or may not cause the world to take note. But the world can’t miss the passion for others that causes us to lay down our masks of invincibility to reach a planet dying to live.
It doesn’t hurt to be wise in the ways we interact with others. God will guide us in every step we take as we write for Him. It’s time to be bold. Be courageous.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous!
Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9 NASB
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