Monday, January 11, 2010

An Open Book

"You are an epistle of Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:2).

Because I'm a writer, folks sometimes tell me they too would like to write a book. "That's a worthy goal," I reply, "and I hope you do write a book someday, but it's better to be one than to write one."

I'm thinking, of course, of Paul's words: "You (Christians) are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart" (1 Corinthians 3:3)

Lewis Bayly, the Chaplain to King James 1st of England, in his book, The Practice of Piety, suggests that "one who hopes to effect any good by his writings" will find that he will "instruct very few... The most powerful means, therefore, of promoting what is good, is by example, and this is in every individual's power. One man in a thousand can write a book to instruct his neighbors... But every man can be a pattern of living excellence to those around him...and he that successfully performs that duty possesses an influence in society, superior to that which can be acquired by any other distinction whatever."

The work that Christ is doing in you can result in an influence far greater than any book you may write. Through his words and by his Spirit he is writing his love and goodness on the pages of your heart. Change will come quietly, imperceptibly, gradually, but it will come. Then, though you may never write a book, you will be one!


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