Linda Wood Rondeau

Preparing the Sacrifice

DO WE HIDE OUR LIGHT?
Monday, July 3, 2023 by Linda Wood Rondeau

BY LINDA WOOD RONDEAU

“No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care then how you hear, for to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he thinks that he has will be taken away.” (Luke 8:16-18 ESV).

At a recent writers' conference, the standard question at a meal where authors became acquainted with a writer they had not previously known was, “So, what do you write?”

If an author said fiction, the added question was, “What genre?”

If an author said nonfiction, the next question might be, “Devotionals or regular nonfiction?”

I write both. But I am not a genre-specific writer. I found it difficult to explain why. For the twenty-plus years I’ve been writing, the standard pressure from editors and agents was for writers to “stay in their lane.”

I remember one conference I attended where the editor was furious that I did not stick with any genre and even mixed fiction with nonfiction. “How will the bookstore know where to put your books? You can’t have some in romance and some in science fiction.”

I understand the marketing logic behind the pressure to only write one type of literature. The artistic world is much the same. People easily identify authors, movie stars, and vocalists with a certain type of product. Vince Gil will never be associated with Rock.

Perhaps this is the reason some authors, wanting to try something different, will use a Pen Name.

But I wonder if the intimidation of the marketing gurus tends to not only shunt our creativity but also tends to cause authors to hide their light.

In reading the above passage I ask myself, “What should I do with the light (the message) God has given me? What is the best way for that light to shine?

  • Don’t cover it with anything or place it where the light dims …

     Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house (Matthew 5:15 ESV).

     No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light (Luke 11:33 ESV).

      And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? (Mark 4:21 ESV).

  • Authors might want to stick with the comfortable, “hiding their light under a bed.” But God might want us to try something we’ve never done before. Listen to His voice.
  • We hide our talent, our light, by compromising our message in order to satisfy a particular market.

While we should be careful to listen to the instructions from the publisher, we need to carefully discern if the advice compromises the message God has given us. Note that a variant delivery method might be recommended that does not diminish the light but rather enhances it. God will provide that discernment if we ask for His wisdom. 

  •  If we are faithful to share the light God has given us, even more light will be given to us.

What do you think? Have you ever had to find the courage to keep your light shining against those who would either purposefully or unintentionally advise you to hide your God-given talent? Feel free to comment in the comments below and/or to share the post as led.

(if you would like to write for Preparing the Sacrifice blog, contact Linda Rondeau … lindarondeau@gmail.com) 

 

 

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