Linda Wood Rondeau

Preparing the Sacrifice

PUTTING LOVE INTO OUR MARKETING
Monday, August 21, 2023 by Linda Wood Rondeau

PUTTING LOVE INTO OUR MARKETING

(Romans 12:9-16)

Last Sunday during the pastor’s sermon on this passage, I was struck with the thought that these words apply to the believing author’s marketing as much as they relate to the believer’s relationship in the body of Christ.

We are to love above all else.

In recent years, I’ve been concerned that the way we feel forced to market our books seems to create a barrier between our Christian values and our desires to meet our responsibilities to our publishers. And for those who self-publish, we are torn between the desire to get our message out there and the desire to do this with in a way that honors Christ.

In this passage, Paul shows us what love in action should look like. Perhaps the same model can be used in our marketing:

Cling to what is good (v 9).  Let us measure our activity according to God’s word. If a resource or method does not measure up with God’s direction, we need to consider if the opportunity is from Him. The devil would love to keep us hopping from this to that without a thought if what we are doing is borne from love of the brethren, or if what we are doing is self-serving. 

Give preference and honor to one another (10). I often see authors request reviews and endorsements from fellow authors. However, reciprocating, for many, becomes problematic due to a busy schedule. In essence, the expectation is one for others to serve us without planning on how we can serve others. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. But before we do, we should serve others first. Our efforts may not result in feedback from the one we helped. But God will see to our needs. Putting others first in our marketing can only be achieved through the power of the Holy Spirit giving us a passion for the message rather than our individual product. 

Given to hospitality: (v13). This is not limited to offering meals or lodging to our brethren. In NT times, travel for Christians was fraught with danger. Having a sure place of acceptance and assistance was crucial. This still holds true in many parts of the world where Christians are persecuted. However, hospitality is deeper. For Christian authors in the free world, physical harm is not as prevalent. But the Christian author can be hospitable to fellow authors by sharing their work on our social media, providing a safe place for the author to promote their work.

Bless those who persecute you. (v 14) How we react to negativity toward us is important. We can internalize this, or we can pray for the one who wounded our spirits. Many times, these arrows are unintentional. Sometimes, however, in the case of a bad review, the insult is on purpose. In either circumstance, Paul’s commandment is clear: love those who use you wrongly. 

Rejoice and weep (v 15). This is probably where I need the most work of the Holy Spirit. The Pastor mentioned this was hard but required. “To rejoice when someone has a baby and we are infertile.” It is difficult to rejoice over someone else’s success when we feel our hard work is not properly recognized. When a fellow author expresses joy over a good review, a surge in sales, a lucrative contract, a speaking opportunity, or another success story, our natural self feels jealousy when our hard work seems to go unnoticed. Yet, we are commanded to rejoice. Likewise, when a fellow author is hurting, we should weep with them rather than condemn them. 

Do not set our minds on high things, but associate with the humble (v 16). This too seems contrary to our desire to be visible in our marketing. Do we shy away from a smaller blog post opportunity? Do we only seek popular threads in our social media friending? Do we only seek podcasts that are the most viewed? We can be assured that God will bless our association with those venues that struggle as much as we do. Who can tell what soul we will reach in a seemingly insignificant opportunity to market?

Ultimately, as Christian authors needing to wade through this thing called marketing, let us first ask the question, “Does this honor God?” If we let love rule in our marketing decisions, we can be assured God will honor our efforts.

 Above all else, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

(1 Peter 4:8 NIV) 

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Comments

Donna Stearns From Southern Illinois At 8/24/2023 2:36:50 PM

Excellent post to keep us grounded in the reason we do what we do.

Reply by: Linda Wood Rondeau

I was convicted during my pastor's sermon. He gave me permission to adapt his comments for writers. Thanks for the feedback.

Doralyn Moore From Canada At 8/22/2023 11:09:10 AM

Excellent.

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