Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Only A Fool Will Edit His Own Writing

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; but fools despise wisdom and instruction."  ~Proverbs 1:7

A long time ago, some very sound advice was given to my dad from a wise friend and mentor.  That same advice was passed along to me.  I like to think that I take after my daddy in many ways.

Only a fool will edit his own writing.

Even "big-shot" writers need an editor.  As my dad has taught me, everyone makes mistakes; we can't expect anyone to be perfect - even good writers.  We all need a little help.  Especially we who aren't as good as X.

I had to learn that lesson in a not-so-easy way.  Not that I consider myself better than any, I would write and edit my own stuff.  Needless to say, there were times when I could have given my articles a better shot.  Perhaps a little help?  Yeah, that's it.  I'd scribble my thoughts down on paper, type it up on the computer, paste it to my blog, and presto!  Completed.  That's me.  Impulsive.

Eventually, Daddy kindly but firmly told me that things needed to change.  And he was right!  Running my articles past Mom or Dad helps me see my mistakes so I can better them.  Besides, a second opinion is always a nice requirement.  Especially if one wants better success.  Honestly though, I could have responded to his kind rebuke with a prideful attitude and thought I knew better than my own papa. (Heaven forbid!)  Or I could have burst into tears and given up writing altogether, especially since I'm not perfect and can't do anything right!  (That's a laugh.  No one is and no one can.)  Emotional dramatic extreme is just too common for girls.  We can flood the house with tears over the silliest things.

Isn't life pretty precarious at times?  One minute we're dancing among the clouds...

...The next we feel lower than a worm.  I guess that's the way human beings were created.  Living in an imperfect world, in a flawed body, with a sinful heart, we must expect some things to seem like...unfair.  Others seem more blessed than we.  Others have different skills and gifts.  I can look around and find things that I'm at a disadvantage with compared to other people.  I can wish and cry and complain all I want, but I'm unique in my own way.  On the plain and unfashionable side maybe, but I can still live passionately for what I believe is right.

One thing in which we all measure up to is foolishness.  Remember the time you blurted out something incomprehensible and everybody just stared?  Or maybe when you tripped down a flight of stairs, walked into a wall, or stood awkwardly in the middle of a room and felt utterly lost, confused, and foolish?  We all do silly things, and we all feel uneasy at some point or another.  I myself used to be terribly shy.  I haven't conquered that obstacle completely, but I used to be much worse.  I would not initiate any conversation unless I was specifically engaged.  Even then I was short and to the point.  Some people may call that dull.  Yet no one knew the inner longing of wanting to be like so-and-so who was outgoing and a great conversationalist.  But I've always been that way.  Honestly, I've wished so many times that I could hold all of my conversations on paper.  Maybe that's unusual?  My pen has always been stronger than my tongue.

I'm not one who (literally) voices my opinions forcefully.  Although, if you were given a glimpse into my brain, the force of the thoughts might drive you hundreds of miles away.  I need drawn out somehow.  But just because I bottle everything up inside of me doesn't mean it’s the way I should be.  Too many times I want to say something and don't.  Life comes at each of us in different angles sometimes.

Rebuke can be given in many ways.  But no matter the tone of voice or display of feeling, we should always be as the wise son that Proverbs talks about, who "heareth his father's instruction."  (Proverbs 13:1)  "A scorner heareth not rebuke."

As human beings, we all want to "show-off" our goodness.  For "the way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that harkeneth unto counsel is wise." ~Proverbs 12:15.  Wouldn't life be fuller in every sense if we behaved in a wise manner?  Instead we are usually prone to foolishness.  Will we be as the wise man who built his house upon a rock; and the rains descended and the floods came, yet he remained fast and secure; or as the foolish man who built his house upon the sand, and was left homeless, destitute, and helpless after the rain and floods washed his house away into the sea?  Which choice will it be?

Remember, only a fool will edit his own writing.  Are we foolish enough to edit the pages of our lives, or are we wise enough to leave that to God?  Only He holds the future.


Benjamin said...

Once again a very good post! Keep it up!

Rachel said...

Thanks for always being encouraging, Benjamin!