Another Step Closer

Today I was browsing the Spork boards and I realized something. I am completely terrified of posting my writing in any kind of critique-y setting where I actually care about what is said. This is why I go to random places to post, or post on my blog where it’s kind of a free-for-all, instead of “You. Over there. Critique this.” I know all writers go through this, and I’m not by any means saying this is just me. I know it’s not. But, as all writers know, writing isn’t just words on paper. It’s literally like “sitting down and opening a vein,” as the saying goes. So when someone has something negative to say about what you wrote, it’s so personal and so…uh…agonizing, that you never ever want to pick up a pen again (at least not for the rest of that day). Also, I get that people have to be brutally honest – that’s kind of the point – but why are they sometimes just flat out brutal?

*sigh* So very very soon, I am going to face my #2 fear (#1 being deep water) and post an actual short story or excerpt of something on the Spork boards for actual critique. It’s part of the package, right? I’d rather get used to it now than have some kind of psychotic breakdown when hundreds of people are dissing my first published novel.

In other news, I think I’ve said this before, but I feel I should say it again. It is in fact about the subject of religion, and more specifically, Christianity.

We are one of the most stereotyped groups of people on the planet, and that is not an exaggeration. Just because some Christians do stupid things doesn’t mean all of us do. Also, in spite of what many Christians would like the world to believe, we are not perfect, nor should we ever pretend to be perfect. We’re still human and we make mistakes. That said, the physical church, which is constantly under fire, is not a perfect institution, because it’s a human institution. Churches should never give the impression that they’re perfect, because they aren’t. That also means that the world should not expect churches to be perfect or hate on them when they aren’t.

I say all this because I’m getting a little tired of all the people who, when they hear I’m a Christian, automatically group me and other Christians with the gay-haters, the people who believe women should be seen and not heard, and so on. News flash: we’re not all like that. However, that said, I also say this: I am a Christian. I am a Jesus freak, and even if that sometimes makes me a freak or whatever else in people’s eyes, that’s what I am. I won’t try to “convert” you, but I try and speak the truth and this is the truth whether you believe it or not. There is one God, and he sent His son Jesus to save us from death. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, and whoever believes in Him has eternal life. Because He loves us, He died for us, conquered death itself, and rose from the dead after defeating it.

But just because I believe this does not mean I hate people who don’t, will not speak to people who don’t, or think they’re losers. I have gay friends and I’m crazy about them. I have friends who are atheist, who are agnostic, who are into Eastern religion, and many, many others. The point of being a Christian is not to hate everyone who isn’t. The point is to love everyone no matter who, what, or where they are, and to portray who Jesus actually was, not who we’ve made Him to be, to the world. And the biggest point of all is for those of us who are Christians to love Him with everything we are, with our whole life and heart and soul, and to be utterly and totally devoted to Him.

❀ africanstardust

5 thoughts on “Another Step Closer”

  1. I think a lot of us share your struggle. In psychology, we used to call it “approach avoidance conflict” (i.e. two goals with positive and negative qualities). We are attracted by the positve and repelled by the negative.

    This world has many cruel and unkind people, but I assure you they are out-numbered by good people. When you are unkindly criticized, respond in love. When you criticize others do it in love. Wise people welcome criticism because by it they learn and grow. Solomon in the book of Proverbs said that fools don’t like to be correction.

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  2. Sharing writing when you’re not used to it is scary and hard. It’s taken me a while to get to where I can share my stuff with other people (especially stuff that I think is awful), but I’m slowly getting there. Usually the criticism isn’t anywhere near as painful as you think it’s gonna be (and since we’re writers, we can imagine some really creative forms of negativity), unless you’re in one of those places where people rip everyone apart. But Sporkers are pretty nice with their criticism. πŸ™‚

    It is so easy to forget that some Christians really are good people when you constantly hear of the kind that absolutely hate certain groups of people. Kudos to you for being accepting and loving. The world needs more people who can love others regardless of their differences.

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  3. @WD very true. Well, I finally posted a teeeeeeny little excerpt, so I’m crossing my fingers πŸ™‚ But you’re right, I think a lot of times we expect the criticism to be worse than it is, because we’re far harder on ourselves than anyone else is.

    @endtimetalk thanks for that reminder πŸ™‚

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  4. Wow, you are quite the writer! (unlike myself). Interesting blog and, I like this post. I agree that at the end of the day, Christians should be known by their love for people. That is what draws people, and that is what will change lives. Thanks for the post.

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