The challenge to write about new steps is based on Ephesians 4:22-24 in which Paul writes:
…lay aside the old self… be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new self…
So I’m sitting here, wondering what aspect of my old self I should discuss casting off, what renewal would look like, and how to put on the new self and what that would look like. So here’s an aspect I’ve chosen to address:
I just recently finished the first full draft of my novel. It’s 260+ pages of unedited story, which means it’s riddled with errors and plot holes. While completing the skeleton of my novel is an accomplishment, the temptation to just sit back and rest on the laurels of that hard work is incredibly alluring. The problem is—the hard work’s just begun.
I am not a person who likes to persevere. I easily am apt to give up. (This might explain why I often choose to attempt suicide rather than deal with life.) I don’t like to tackle difficult things. I hate facing challenges and I abhor confrontation. But the Bible is clear that perseverance in life and in our faith is something that’s necessary:
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. —II Peter 1:5-7
…pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. —I Timothy 6:11
…we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. —Romans 5:3-5
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. —Romans 15:4-6
I especially love the passage in Romans 15 that says that God gives perseverance and encouragement: two things that I desperately need.
So I will attempt to slough off the old (easily throwing in the towel) and enter a season of renewal by casting on the new: relying on God’s grace and the help of others to be encouraged and to persevere as I edit my novel and prepare it for submission to agents in the hopes of eventual publication. And I’m sure after those first hundred rejections roll in, I’m really going to need that “new self” to step up and help me out.