by Cathy Baker

{ Day 29 }

It didn’t take long
for me to realize that we writers can quickly become fascinated with numbers. The
number of books sold, or hits on a particular blog, article, or Facebook
post. Let’s face it. All of these things, in some way, validate the fact our work is being read, and hopefully finding its way to the hearts of those God intended. But, if we’re not careful, over-focusing on numbers can not only choke out our joy but it can take our motivation captive. 

That’s a lot of liking!

For some reason, I thought I’d escaped the clinching chains of counting numbers until this summer when I
found myself face to face with discouragement. To make my point, I must be painfully honest. Sigh. You see, discouragement slithered
its way in the back door when I began noticing a drop-off in blog comments,
leading me to question if the time required to create my posts was a wise use of God’s time.

Around
that same time, a handful of people, some I’ve never met, began emailing me after reading
particular posts. Their emails often resulted (and still do) in a deep
abiding gratefulness no words can describe. (You know who you are! Thank
you!) 

Here’s
the thing. Their comments showed up in a private inbox, for no one else
to see. In other words, the comment count on my blog didn’t change but God used these private messages to not only encourage me but to also teach me a game-changing lesson I’ll take with me to eternity.

In the midst of my deepest discouragement, I sensed God asking, If your motivation is to glorify Me alone, does it matter if comments show up on your blog or in your inbox?  
 
Truth snapped my soul
like a taut rubber band awakening me from my spiritual slumber. Ah, now I remember why I often begin my time in prayer with Psalm 139:23, 24: Rarely, if ever, can I trust my own motives. God must be the motive searcher of all things for He alone knows me—really knows me. He alone sees past my good intentions and zeroes in on specks of pride searching for places to take root in my heart. 

Yes, comments and emails still delight and encourage this old soul but now they’re simply a gift, not a measuring stick for validating my time.

Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23, 24

Staying in Step with the Spirit: God alone is our Validator. When He is invited to search our hearts and to test our anxious thoughts, we are humbling ourselves before Him… and a humble heart is one close to its Maker. 

Heavenly Father, search our hearts and test us. You alone know our true thoughts and deepest motivation concerning all things. Purify us and lead us in the way everlasting as we humble ourselves before you.


Your turn! Have you ever looked to anything but God for validation along the way?