“Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires
a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.”
-Oscar Wilde

Very fine nature, indeed.

I’m reminded of a devotion given by Carol Roper at a recent workshop. She compared writers, especially those writing with God’s glory in mind, to a vast army and how we need to see ourselves as fellow soldiers, not competitors. 

Never is this mindset tested more than during a writer’s conference. Success stories swirl about with a tornadic force capable of crumbling the structure of even the most grounded writers. Comparisons strike, niggling doubts paralyze, and in an instant, the writer you once wished the best now becomes a competitor, no longer a comrade. 

I don’t mind admitting that I caught myself repeating we’re all on the same team several times during the conference last week because in all honesty, it doesn’t always feel this way, even among Christ-followers. Perhaps it’s for this reason I was drawn to reading the Army’s Soldier Creed on Memorial Day. I spotted several similarities to our mission but for time’s sake, I’ll share just three today:

  • I am a warrior and a member of a team. 

Christ is my warrior and I am a member of his vast army. I am mindful of the fact that none of us were created to do life apart from others. To do so is to choose to live a life far less abundant than God desires.

The LORD will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up
his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph
over his enemies. Isaiah 42:13

  • I will always place the mission first. 

I will seek first His kingdom, trusting all other things He has for me will eventually fall into place despite rejection letters, disappointing appointments, and yes, even writer’s block. (Is there really such a thing?)  

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

  • I will never leave a fallen comrade. 

When the desire to see my name on paper overrides my desire to see others succeed for God’s glory, I have nothing of eternal worth to offer. I will not step on or step over my fellow soldier’s handiwork. Instead, I will lift it high for His ultimate fame and glory.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves… Philippians 2:3 

Is there one creed that speaks to you more than the others?

I’m thankful for my fellow soldiers who never give up on their work or mine. And speaking of handiwork, congrats to Carol Roper, whom I mentioned above. She won two awards at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference (BRMCWC): First Place in Devotions and Second Place in Blogs. To God be the glory!

The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference is always outstanding and this year was no exception. I look forward to sharing more about my experience on Thursday!