Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Spiritual Self-editing

Photo by Girlfierce Photography
Do you dread self-editing? Does progress on your WIP grind to a halt at this phase of writing? In the online course I am currently enrolled in, we spent some time Wednesday discussing and practicing this essential skill. Since undertaking the task of self-editing can be overwhelming, our instructor, Eva Shaw recommended we break it down into smaller, more manageable parts. With each run through we look for specific problems. Check for repetitious words or phrases. Next, make sure we chose our words carefully. On the third run through ask, “Do my sentences spur interaction or would a question be more effective?” Then listen for a consistent tone throughout the piece. And lastly, run grammar and spell checks after final edits.

As I thought this lesson over, I realized that we can apply the same principle to our spiritual lives. Often it seems to us that doing what God requires is beyond us. Things like loving others, denying self, walking humbly with Him daily, choosing to do the right thing rather than the easy thing, showing mercy—are all tough tasks.

Eva’s advice to break down an overwhelming job into smaller more manageable parts could help us with these spiritual tasks also. Can I whisper a sentence prayer for the one who has unjustly criticized my husband? Could I turn off the re-runs on TV and open my Bible instead? Surely, reading 10 verses a day is possible, isn’t it? Can my husband and I find two minutes in the morning to share devotions together—perhaps taking turns reading from a devotional booklet while the other person finishes readying themselves for work? Would our children mind clasping hands for a moment of prayer before heading off to school?

Even tiny steps eventually make progress. What is ONE step can you take today?

Direct my footsteps according to your Word; let no sin rule over me.

Psalm 119:133

©2013 Pamela D. Williams