Get Smart

susan1“Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge, Proverbs 23:12.

I’ve always encouraged my children, friends, students, and others to be “lifelong learners.” Whether you’re my 92-year-old Mom, a young mother, or a new or seasoned writer, I encourage you to never stop learning and growing in your spiritual, personal, and creative life.

This week I’m teaching three writing workshops at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. I love imparting what I know about writing to those who sacrifice their time and money so they can continue to learn all they can about the craft of writing. I respect each and every one of them, and I always learn something in the process of teaching. I want to apply my heart to instruction, even when it comes out of my own mouth.

It truly is a daunting task to “apply your heart to instruction.” This is especially true in today’s word-saturated society where you have to continually sift out the good from the bad, the truth from a lie, the imposter from the real, even in the Christian world. In the past several years of mentoring, coaching, critiquing, and editing Christian writers’ work, I’ve found that unbiblical views too often creep into writing more and more as the years go by.

So as I teach on the importance of having a biblical view of the world and of writing, I’ve learned that consciously applying discernment becomes key to knowing the difference between biblical truth and all the rest of the untruths and half-truths out there. I urge not only writers but everyone to be on guard and stand against the lies of the world, whatever they may be.

To do so, God’s word must be our plumb line, for only then will our speaking, writing, and interacting with others bring life and make a difference in our world. Whether you’re teaching your children, writing the next great American novel, or sharing your heart with a friend, truth matters, and applying your ears to “words of knowledge” is so important.

Discern carefully between what God says about things and what the world tries to promote. Reject the things that pull you away from truth. Edit out words that don’t agree with the Bible. Fight the good fight of continuing to apply your heart to God’s instruction and listen for godly knowledge. Then your lifelong learning will bear fruit that will last through eternity.

How do you apply your heart to instruction? I’d love to know!



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