Sunday, October 29, 2006

Writing your passion

John Piper says: "I have always felt that the works of the famous British New Testament scholar, F. F. Bruce, are unnecessarily dry. In reading his memoirs, In retrospect, I discovered one of the reasons why. He said, "I do not care to speak much-especially in public-about thethings that mean most to me." When you eliminate what means most to you from your writing and speaking, they will be dry. For myself, I would say just the opposite: "I do not care to speak much-especially in public-about the things that don't mean most to me." Many pastors are not known for expressing deep emotions. This seems to me especially true in relation to the profoundest theological realities. This is not good, because we ought to experience the deepest emotions about the deepest things. And we ought to speak often, and publicly, about what means most to us, in a way that shows its value." 

I am convinced, if we can't be real, we can't truly disciple someone. Because Jesus was as real as real gets. And if we're going to be like Him, we have to be real. How can we truly disciple people yet eliminate what means most from our writing and speaking?

Amazingly I have had people ask me to do that. Some over the years have said to me, "It's okay for you to have a passion for this or that...just don't state it outright..." WHAT? Or, "It's okay to espouse a strong view, just don't share it..." I've been told, "if you don't share a strong view, you will escape criticism." My answer to that is, to avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, BE nothing.  (Edmund Burke)

I'm big enough to own my words.

I don't mind criticism if it's the price to pay for sharing my passion. I believe if you are not writing and speaking about your passion...why speak? Why waste words? They are so precious. Words, words, words. I love them. I collect them as some collect rocks or jelly beans. I enjoy them. I hear a new one, and it swirls around in my head a few days until I start using it in everyday conversation.

Words alter the course of history. Martin Luther (not one of my favorite people, but I like this quote) said, "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen." Writing a word, speaking a word...changes things as we know it.

Some choose to sit and make small talk about the price of gas, or the weather. I choose to talk about ideas, dreams, concepts, principles of living, spiritual things, intimate things, etc...

Why waste words on small talk? Proverbs 31 talks about the woman opening her mouth and skillful words coming out. Why are some content with words that don't mean anything when we have a storehouse of passionate words at our disposal? If I can't write about what is most important to me, I see no reason to write at all. Clearly F.F. Bruce is not the guy I would want to have dinner with, but I could sit and talk to John Piper at a Starbucks for quite a few hours.

Wow. That really sums up how I feel about being transparent with my words and honest with my life in general. Not so transparent or honest as to lose the respect of the ones you lead, but transparent enough to let passion shine through in all one does, showing an appropriate amount of vulnerability.

1 comment:

Leanne said...

I bet you could have a great conversation with John Piper...he's the guy who wrote "Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood," all about how women should NOT be pastors :o). Other than that book, though, he is pretty sweet!!!