Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Editing NOT needed

Last week I received an e-mail from a lady at my church asking if I would consider editing a speech that she was preparing to give at an upcoming event with her family. I was blown away by this request. Why did she ask me? I'm not an editor. What did I know about revising anyone's writing? Did I even want the responsibility of looking over her carefully crafted preparation and correcting grammatical errors and sentence structure? What if I happened to offend her by correcting her work? I am far from a genius in the literary field, but I do have a passion for writing and a willingness to be available, so I agreed to at least look over her writing and gently 'tweak' it if necessary.

It's a daunting job playing 'Editor', and I do mean 'playing', as I've had absolutely no training. Meshing together someone else's words without inserting my own opinion or disturbing the authors perspective and personality. It was so tempting to insert my own thoughts and delete sentences based solely on individual preference. By the time I finished, I truly believe I kept her ideas intact. The message remained the same, just packaged with some new expression.

I wonder if I sometimes take on the role of "Editor" when it comes to God's Word. Do I believe that every sentence in the Bible is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, training and correcting? (2 Timothy 3:16) Do I believe that every sentence, every word, every thought in the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit? Do I sometimes desire to add or delete certain phrases, words and even complete passages based on my obedience quotient? God's directives that fit neatly into my life with relative ease I'll embrace and follow, but those that require effort, surrender and change I'll omit or re-write to suit my schedule and agenda. After all, God certainly didn't mean we had to follow ALL of His Word did He? It's not really commandments, but simply suggestions....right?

WRONG!! God doesn't want me to change one 'jot' or 'tittle'. I must leave every 'i' dotted and every 't' crossed, for "not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappear until its purpose is achieved." (Matt 5:18). So, although I had freedom to edit this ladies paper, I do not, DO NOT have permission to edit God's Word. I must read it and apply all of it to all of my life.

May I not look to God's Word to make editorial corrections, but instead may I allow the Divine Editor to use it to refine my life and change my character to match my calling.


Kelley at Aroma of Joy said...

Hi Joy,
It was so good to hear from you on my blog today. It is comforting to know you understand and can relate to my desire to go to this conference but also to make sure it is God's will. I am moving beyond the fear a little and I think my biggest concern right now is the money. Of course Satan is going to milk that for all it is worth. We had a pipe leak in the basement last night among all the other expenses we are looking at in raising 7 kids. (What was I thinking, that is a crazy number of kids?! ha ha).

Here are some of the sites that have really encouraged me today as I struggle with the decision: Melissa Taylor on her Prov. 31 blog-(she actually addresses the question I left for Lysa last week). Beth Moore on LPM, Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee. I hope these are encouraging to you as well, I am anxious to hear your decision!! It would be so much fun to meet in person if we both go!

Also, this is a wonderful post! A great reminder to know God's word and be careful how I handle it! Thank you!!


Mariel said...

Great post! Great reminder! the Lord has repeatedly reminded me of 1 Tim. 3:16-17 for my own ministry! How easy it is to 'forget' EVERY word is intentional and God breathed!! :)

Linda said...

Perhaps someone saw you looking all editorial there with your laptop in that picture and said, "Hey! There's my editor!" What a great husband, to be so supportive.