Thankful—For Someone Else’s Talent

Colleen Coble opening ceremony of ACFW

Colleen Coble Opening Ceremony

A Thankful Heart

I returned from the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Conference on Sunday with a thankful heart. What an honor and blessing to attend such a wonderful event, reconnect with good friends, and make new ones. But I was also thankful in a new way because of something our pastor said last week while studying Colossians.

“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints.” 
Colossians 1:3-4

 Thankful to God for Others

Our pastor encouraged us to slice through Paul’s flowery language to the central message. The apostle says basically, “We always thank God…when we pray for you, because we’ve heard of your faith…and love…” Paul prayerfully thanked God for the Colossians’ spiritual success. He didn’t compliment the Colossians—though he, of course, encouraged them. The apostle realized that it was through God’s grace, power, and faithfulness that anyone perseveres in faith and love in a world that shouts for our defiance.

Thankful for the Talent Around Me

As I scanned the auditorium last week at the ACFW conference, I marveled at the talent around me. Publishers, editors, agents, and famous authors laughed and chatted with would-be authors at every stage of their writing journeys. It occurred to me that those who have risen to decision-making positions in publishing or the best-selling authors are who they are because of a God-given talent and the grace to work at their craft. I was no longer star-struck by the famous folks around me. Instead, I was awestruck by a God who had used so many ordinary people to do extraordinary things. I could genuinely thank Him for those who had been faithful to use the talent He’d given them.

“Thankful” Is My New Compliment

I’m always encouraged when a reader sends an email or Facebook message, telling me he or she has enjoyed one of my novels or devotionals. I try to pass on the blessing by writing to other authors with the same kind of encouragement. Freshly armed with my Colossians 1:3-4 Scripture, you can bet I’ll be sending more notes worded like Paul’s greeting:

“I’m so thankful that the Lord has given you this incredible talent. The words you’ve written have touched my soul, and I pray that our God will continue to open doors as you remain faithful.”

Today’s Question:

  • Is there an author, pastor, singer, etc. that deserves an encouraging note and a word of prayer? Take a moment and follow up right now…

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