“The Little Drummer Boy” is one of my favorite Christmas Carols. I love the bass “Rum-pum-pum.” I love the lyrics as a poor little boy agonizes over what gift he could possibly give to this newborn King of Kings. I love when the music swells to victory as the boy understands he does have a gift for the baby, and he plays his drum the very best that he can—all for Jesus.
Before I devoted my life to Christ, I didn’t realize that every perfect gift from above should naturally return to the Giver. While I was still a baby, born-again Christian, the Lord taught me this lesson through a small dose of tough love. At that time of my life, singing was my known talent. (Maybe that’s why I have such an affinity for the Little Drummer Boy!)
I had joined a charismatic church, so different from the staid, traditional churches of my childhood. I joined their choir, fully expecting the opportunity to solo. After all, I had graduated college with a music degree and had soloed with its prestigious choir. I had sung in churches all over the country and in Europe.
Can you see where this story is going? My gift. My glory.
The Christmas cantata rehearsals arrived. The director did not offer me a solo. Well, I was new, I reasoned. Maybe I hadn’t earned my stripes in his book. Time passed. The Easter cantata was rehearsed. No solo. Now I was insulted. Should I even stay in this choir?
My tender little, baby Christian heart took my sorrows to God. His voice was gentle in my mind. “Who are you singing for, Linda? Why are you singing in this choir?”
His simple questions clarified everything. I'd been using my God-given talent for myself. I had basked in the praise from previous performances. I’d stood tall and proud wearing the mantle of "soloist." But I was no longer the old Linda. I was a new Linda, God’s beloved child, and He refused to spoil me.
From that little talk with God came repentance from my old, selfish attitude. I told the Lord I wanted to sing for Him. Everything else was a distant second. Within weeks, the choir director offered me a solo, and I knew God was telling me, “You’ve learned the lesson well. I look forward to your gift of song for Me.”
Everyone in ACFW has been given the talent to write.
Some of us have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. Others haven’t published one story yet. But we all have the opportunity to bless the Lord using the gift He’s bestowed on us.
Once God opened the whole new world of writing to me, I’ve tried to remember the lesson from my singing days. My songs were dedicated to Him, and my stories are written for Him. I want to check and recheck that my books and my articles glorify Him and no one else.
Like the Little Drummer Boy who’d been given musical talent and offered his performance to Jesus, so each of us has the opportunity to offer our King the gift of our words.
Over the course of the year, I periodically evaluate my motives regarding writing. I challenge you to rehearse the same exercise, if you don’t already do so.
1. Were my words written for God’s glory?
2. What were my other motivations? To have fun? To teach? To earn money? To gain applause? To share what I’ve learned?
3. Have I asked God what He wants me to write? And if I did, was I obedient in regard to His answer?
4. Did I pray for guidance before I typed one word for the day?
You get the picture. You can probably add your own questions to mine.
May every story you write and every article you publish be an offering to your King, to the Babe in the manger who came to earth for your sake.
And may He smile on your gift.
Linda Sammaritan writes realistic fiction, mostly for kids ages ten to fourteen. She is currently working on a middle grade trilogy, World Without Sound, based on her own experiences growing up with a deaf sister.
Linda had always figured she’d teach middle-graders until school authorities presented her with a retirement wheelchair at the overripe age of eighty-five. However, God changed those plans when He gave her a growing passion for writing fiction. In May of 2016, she blew goodbye kisses to her students and dedicated her work hours to learning the craft.
A wife, mother of three, and grandmother to eight, Linda regales the youngest grandchildren with “Nona Stories,” tales of her childhood. Maybe one day those stories will be in picture books!
Where Linda can be found on the web: