“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
I want to be on the bestseller list.
I want people to read my books the way they watch the Hobbit, the way they listen to Owl City. I want to be a genius, a prodigy. I want to fly straight to the top.
I used to think that to be a best seller, you just had to write a good book and then find a publisher who would publish it. That is not true. For one thing, “good” does not necessarily translate into “will sell.” If that was true, bestseller lists would be full of books like The Chronicles of Narnia, instead of the Twilight Saga. Being a best seller has nothing to do with writing quality literature. It has everything to do with writing what people will read.
I would rather write something quality. I’d like people to read it, too, but if I had to choose, I would rather write something good than something popular. I am not saying that nothing popular is good. I’m just saying that just because something is good does not mean it is popular, and vice versa.
I want to be a bestseller. More than that, I want to write good literature. But there is something even more important than writing good literature.
I want to bring glory to God. I want to introduce people to Jesus. I want to spotlight truth. I want to serve God with my life.
I should want those things far more than I want to be on the best seller list. I should want those things far more than I want to write good literature. Just as I focus more on writing quality than on writing what people want to read, I should focus more on seeking God than I focus on writing at all.
It is very easy to put writing before God. Many times I have asked myself, Would I give up writing if Jesus asked me to? Sometimes it’s a hard question to answer. I know what the answer should be, but I’m not always sure that’s what my answer is.
I don’t believe that Jesus is asking me to choose between him and writing. I believe that I can bring glory to God through writing, that I can introduce people to Jesus through writing, that I can spotlight truth and serve God by writing as well as in the other areas of my life.
But I cannot do that if I care more about writing than I care about God. It’s a paradox. To serve God through writing, I have to be willing to give up writing if that is what He asks of me.
To seek God may be simple. But it is not easy. It means being willing to give up everything I care about, if that’s what it takes. Even if that’s being a bestseller. Even if that’s writing good literature.
Even if that’s writing at all.