Christian Writers: Weak But Still Called

I grew up speaking my mother tongue. I picked up English as a third language when I started school. I fell in love with it and became a voracious reader and writer. I was so good that my English teacher read out my compositions in school parades.

I had no competition right through college. I wrote stories, poems and about 5 full manuscripts. I equated my ability to speak confidently with mastery of the English language.

But two things shook my belief. 

My hubby and I went on air for a live radio show. A family member recorded a portion of it and sent us the recording. I was horrified when I heard myself on air. Who was that woman! My grammar sounded terrible.

Then we moved to the United States. Within the first two months, someone told me that I had broken English. This seemingly small inconsequential thing started to eat at me. I mean, if I couldn’t speak well, how was I ever going to teach, author books or make a career out of public speaking?

No wonder it took hours to craft that perfect blog post! And come to think of it, I wasn’t even an expert on anything. I had no degrees, no clout, no network. The only thing I had was a larger-than-life opinion on growth and relationships.

Worried About the Vessel

When it comes to writing, Christian writers often get sidetracked by what they see and feel, and forget the main thing.

The message.

In the Christian writing and blogging scene, I think that the most important thing is not necessarily eloquence, mastery or gift of gab. The most important thing is the message.

It’s not the vessel.

What has God called you to do? That should be the key thing. Not your abilities or inabilities.

God will always call us to do something that is greater than ourselves.

We will always be unable, unqualified, undeserving of every plan He has for our lives. We live by grace and grace only. We often jump up when He calls. We respond with a resounding “yes” when He reveals His dream for us.

But like Peter, when we begin our walk, we soon begin to notice our circumstance. The eloquence of others. The skill-sets we are missing. The smallness of our blog. Our limited knowledge. The books and ebooks of others.

It Will Always Take God

I have come to believe that the God who sent me is the God who will get His message out. Yes, He wants me to grow in skills and every possible area.  But He wants me to understand it’s His message, His power, His abilities.

Jon Acuff says,

“A doctor doesn’t become a doctor on day one. She becomes a student. And then she learns along the way. But not unless she gets started first.”

I don’t think we’ll ever grow to a place of perfection. Those of us who wait until a blog post is perfect never ship. Someone who waits until they have a perfect sermon never preaches. Those who wait until their life is perfect never touches another soul.

The perfect moment does not exist. Just bold people who attempt things in imperfect times.

I believe that God wants me imperfect, because He wants to do it himself. He needs me as a glove, not as the hand in the glove.

Three ways to stay close to the message

  1. Stay close to the Message Giver. Soak in His presence and perspective.
  2. Watch what you allow into your heart. Dwell and meditate on truth.
  3. Practice and grow. Don’t be intimidated by failure, imperfections, seeming weaknesses. Practice and grow.

Question: How else can Christian writes stay more focused on the message, and less on the vessel? Please comment below.

* Image credit: Travis Silva (Creation Swap)

  • Thanks for having me over today Charles. It’s such an honor. God bless you.

  • I think it’s the same when we share our testimonies, which I wrote about recently on these pages, Ngina. We don’t know what to say. Sometimes the person we’re speaking to is totally antagonistic. But, through prayer, the Holy Spirit speaks through us the right words. It’s the same with public speaking – a trust thing, We need to trust that God will deliver and that we don’t need to think about ourselves for the ‘performance’ is not ours..

  • Ngina I feel as long as Christian writers remember who and what the main purpose is. Everyone wants to be successful and feel important. However, if we take on the servants role as writers the. It won’t be about us or what we do, it will be about who we can touch and bring closer to God. Awesome post.

    • Couldn’t agree with you more Lincoln. God has been stirring me about the power of reaching ‘one’. He doesn’t reach masses as such, He reaches one heart (at a time.) And that should be our concern too, not everybody. (“everybody” comes as result of “somebody”. The pressure is so much less when its about one person! Thanks so much for reading and sharing

  • For me, I strongly believe point one is absolutely non-negotiable. God is the Message-Giver. When we stop listening to Him, we risk doing our craft for selfish pleasure.

    • So true Joseph, #1 is the main thing. The rest is detail. Detail can never replace #1. Thanks for reading and adding to the conversation.

  • If only I could wallpaper the walls of my writing room with this post, Ngina! There is so much truth and encouragement in it. And I love your last line: He needs me as the glove, not as the hand in the glove.

    I’ve been going through the Bible studying people who were called by God and how they responded to Him. It’s really been helping me with my writing – and your post summarized what I’ve been learning plus added a few new gems. Thank you!

    • I am so glad you have been blessed Barb. I am finding your series on blogging/ministry so helpful and timely. So honored that i can spark more thought and add insights. You are a blessing. Thank you for sharing.

  • Wonderful post, Ngina! You are such a strong and intelligent woman. Most of us can’t master our own language, let alone try to get fluent in one or more.

    Keep up the wonderful work, my sister in the Lord!

    • Thank you for your kind words Charles. it’s an honor to share in this platform today. You know at some point, it had not occurred to me that most Americans speak English only – where i come from, most people speak a minimum of three languages – mother-tongue, national language and official language. :). You could say we are linguistically blessed!

  • Ngina, congrats! I did not realize you live in MD. So do I. You’re right: as we keep the message (and the Message Giver) as the main thing, the other things fall into place. Great post!

    • oh we are so neighbors..that’s awesome! 🙂 It’s a small world.

      I totally agree, when He is Lord, everything falls in place! Thank you for reading and sharing

  • Oh my gosh!!!!!! This is awesome Ngina!!! I love the testimony, the humility, and the power of this post. I am truly speechless. This was great!

    • Thank you Mike. so glad it blessed you! Our God is amazing.

  • Oh man, I needed to read this today. I believe with God our weaknesses and flaws become perfect, God fills the gap. Great post.

    • Dan, super glad that this is a word in season for you. It sure is for me! it’s one of those posts that preach to you first before it touches others. God bless you.

  • Floyd

    Three languages? I’m still struggling with this one!

    These are wise words indeed. It isn’t about us. God doesn’t need our eloquent or clever words… He desires our hearts. When we speak or write for Him, everything seems to fall into perfect place and we get to sit back and see Him work through our imperfections…

    Homerun, Ngina. Well said, my sister.

    • Lol Floyd, you make me laugh. You are pretty good in your blog..unless you do tonnes of edits like me… (which i doubt you do..lol). Out of the three, the only one universally spoken is English. The other two are pretty continental (African).
      I love that last line. Our weaknesses can truly be used for God’s glory. If we let Him have them. Thank you for sharing, I always appreciate.

  • GREAT, GREAT POST! Well done Ngina!

    And you speak 3 languages- wow. What other languages do you know?

    This part shouted out to me- “He needs me as a glove, not as the hand in the glove.”
    Amen, love it!

    Sometimes we can get too full of ourselves and forget it’s not about us, it’s all about God.
    Just this morning I was reading Duet 6-9 when Moses warns the Israelite’s to remember the commandments, to not get self righteous and to remember God’s mercy when they provoked Him to anger. What stood out to me this morning was remembering God is the one who gave them the promise land, they didn’t earn it. It was not at all about them, but about God.
    Your post reminds me of this message too. Great job!

    • Thank you TC!

      That’s an awesome rhema word you had today. We always get in trouble when we loose focus, forget our first love and think its about us. Great word.

      I speak my mother tongue (my tribal language called Kikuyu), my country’s national language (Swahili) and my country’s official language English :).

      • Very talented lady! Keep up the good work.

  • Great challenge to continually look to the purpose of the writing above and beyond the writing itself!

  • “Stay focused on God.” You have shared such great truths and testimony – God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

    These words speak to me: “I believe that God wants me imperfect, because He wants to do it himself.” Why struggle with my perceived imperfections when God just needs me to be weak and willing — and oh I agree, He “calls us to do something that is greater than ourselves.”

    Thanks Ngina am encouraged! – I believe by allowing God to mold us we will be more willing for God to be glorified in us. And we should not perceive that our personal stories are too small — if God calls us to share we should.