Am not I a teacher (and communicator and writer)?

I’m announcing my intent to blog more.

I’m not fond of doing so, because it has the potential to create some sort of expectation among my few readers and I often find such expectations… annoying, for lack of a better word.

But, in spite of such potential annoyances, I still make the announcement because it also creates some sort of accountability for me to follow through. And that usually works quite well for me, because I’m also not fond of failing to do what I say I’ll do [1].  I’ve learned over the years that I’m better off just not committing to something than to make promises that could potentially be empty.

Anyway, it hasn’t been hard to notice that busy summer + fascinating girlfriend can = less blogging. And I’ve been okay with that. But God’s been talking to me about some things and I think it will do my relationship with Him some good to blog more. And hopefully a reader or two can be blessed on occasion as a result.

When I was in Iowa towards the end of July at the In Christ’s Image Training conference, I felt the Lord inviting me to blog “substantially” once a week. “Substantially” is, of course, a relative term. But I assure you that I recognize my August 12, 13 and 14 posts fell short of even the most diminutive [2] measures. And September’s have been equally unimpressive. So, I will be blogging more.

Sadly enough, God’s beckoning in Iowa wasn’t enough to get me started on this mission. But a combination of other things have helped establish my resolve to do so:

  1. Back-to-back messages from Pastor Scott on obedience. Hello, Flesh. Meet the Grim Reaper.
  2. Psalm 119 coming up on my Bible-in-a-Year reading plan [3]. If you can read Psalm 119 and not come under conviction that you aren’t passionate enough about implementing God’s Word in your life on a new level… you may not be saved. David said he “made haste, and did not delay to keep [God’s] commandments” (v. 60). I don’t think I can honestly say I’ve ever done that.
  3. A friend e-mailed me with a question on how to bust out of a dry spell he was experiencing. I typed out a four or five paragraph reply in which I reflected on things I’d learned in my walk with God. In doing so, I realized how much I enjoy writing on such topics and how much God can minister through it.

All those kinda came to a culmination this past Friday. It was a rather up-and-down week where I just felt blah and uninspired. As I was reflecting on the blah week during Scott’s message, God started talking to me about how hard I often am on myself for not being a certain “type” of Christian–the type being a more bold, more vocal, more Apostle Paul-like Christian. Such thoughts are among those that often discourage my walk and lead to said blah weeks.

So I took a look at one of the week’s highlights–e-mailing my friend–and then scribbled a note to myself atop my sermon notes: “Am not I a teacher (and a communicator and a writer?)”. I immediately felt empowered. I know, beyond all doubt, that those are important, if not primary, callings in my life. Then it dawned on me that the major, lasting ministry of the Apostle Paul was his writing ministry. Sure, being used to heal the entire populous of Malta was pretty sweet (Acts 28), but what’s endured for millenia?: His epistles.

Now, I’m not presuming to embark on drafting new books for the Bible. I’m simply recognizing:

  1. God’s inviting me to write
  2. Writing is a huge ministry
  3. I enjoy writing and maybe, just maybe, there’s a reason God designed me to enjoy it

That last point was the real kicker for me and it was a reminder that brought me much joy (which is a fruit of the Spirit, after all). I’ve heard the idea time and time again, but I obviously have to be reminded of it on occasion: God designed us a certain way for a certain reason. Swimming up-stream against who we really are leads to nothing more than frustration. I had caved into a cold, confining religious mindset in which I constrained what it looks like to serve God.

St. Irenaeus said, “The glory of God is man fully alive.” Discovering those gifts and talents He’s given us and developing and living them out to their peak potential gives the Lord great glory. And, as a side benefit, we actually get to enjoy it, too!

So, in summary, obey God–even when He’s telling you to do what you enjoy doing [4] :)

1. And as a side note, I’ve also recently realized how much I hate not finishing books I’ve started. I currently have probably a dozen or so I’m anywhere from 10-90% finished with. Sadly enough, there’s even a book from way back in high school that I didn’t finish (ironically titled “Finishing Strong”) and I occasionally feel guilty about that. I may need some deliverance in this area.

2. “Diminutive” is a new word for me. I ran across it in a news article today. I’ve of course heard it before, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never used it. I hope I’ve done so properly.

3. Also referred to as the Bible-in-Two-Years plan by me.

4. Which, unfortunately, isn’t always the case.

By Joel Maust

Joel Maust is a marketer, blogger and photographer living in the beautiful Flathead Valley of northwest Montana.

3 replies on “Am not I a teacher (and communicator and writer)?”

God designing me to be a certain way for a certain reason.

Even at age 54 I still fall into the trap of not being satisfied with the way God made me. Thinking another way would be better. Who am I to question God? h-m-m-m.

Thanks Joel

Hurray! I’m glad for this. Your blogs have done a great job of inspiring/challenging me in the past – and teaching me how to say things differently, if that makes sense.

that whole trying to be someone i’m not thing is something i’m working on stopping too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *