Humility in writing and pastoring

The greatest challenge with wielding influence is getting out of the way. Whether I’m writing, teaching, or praying, my focus often drifts back to me — and I am not the point. Brett Lott references this theme in Letters & Life, his slim volume on being a writer:

I saw, suddenly and fully, that a story was about the people involved. I saw that embellishment brought to the table an unwanted intruder: the author. . . . [that] I had to be the last one heard from in this pile of words I was arranging, and that humility was the most valuable tool I could have, because the people about whom I wanted to write mattered so very much more than the paltry desires of the writer himself. . . . My job was to get out of the way. . . . To be a writer is to be humble. To be a writer means to get oneself out of the way” (pgs. 105, 108).

Moving others toward their Lord requires stepping back. Making room. As it turns out, spiritual renewal is preceded by receding.

You see, the only life that pleases God and that can be victorious, is His life — never our life, no matter how hard we try. But inasmuch as our self-centered life is the exact opposite of His, we can never be filled with His life, unless we are prepared for God to bring our life constantly to death. And in that we must co-operate by our moral choice” (pgs. 25-26, The Calvary Road, by Roy Hession).