“Who can make the clean out of the unclean? No one!” (Job 14:4)
It is easier to wash a hundred pounds of soot off a wedding gown than it is to clean man’s soul. Job realized the impossibility of this task, but not everyone does. Some people don't even think they need cleaned—well, I don't think pigs realize they are dirty either. “Do not suppose, my friends, that men like the gospel any better now than they did then. There is an idea that you are growing better. I do not believe it. You are growing worse. In many respects men may be better, —outwardly better; but the heart within is still the same. The human heart of today dissected, would be just like the human heart a thousand years ago.” *
However, Job’s words are not completely true; there is one person who can make the unclean clean. The heart is harder to cleanse than leprosy, but Christ can reach beyond the skin and cleanse the leprosy of the soul. I doubt there is any soul filthier than mine or Paul's—God cleansed ours and He can cleanse yours. All you have to do is come Him, knowing full well your sinfulness and inability to rid it, and you don't even have to bring the soap.
Day by day we'll soil our garments but God keeps cleansing us until eventually we’ll shine like stars.
*C.H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Sermons Volume One (Hendrickson Publishers, 2016), 90.
Slim Sherman and Jess Harper from Laramie camp out on the ridge of Vache Garçon.
“All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives.” (Proverbs 16:2)
All that I do is right—screech!—nope, definitely not, but sometimes I act like it. It's the thought that counts, but my inner thoughts are not always right. When I say “my drawing is terrible,” do I really mean that or am I saying that just to get praise? Sometimes I don't know why I do the things I do, say what I say, or think what I think, but God does. He knows facts about me I don't even know. My motives may be hidden to my own heart, but not to His eyes.
We think our way is the only way and that's when it's time to stop and think about what we're doing. We should assess all our actions, words, and feelings. Are our works really diamonds or fool’s gold? I need to put my motives under a microscope to determine the purity of my actions. More often than not, I usually have to dump my motives into the trash and start new. But “To confess you were wrong yesterday, is only to acknowledge that you are a little wiser today; and instead of being a reflection on yourself, it is an honor to your judgement, and shows that you are improving in the knowledge of the truth. Do not be ashamed to learn, and to cast aside your old doctrines and views, but take up that which you may more plainly see to be in the word of God.” *
*C.H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Sermons Volume Two (Hendrickson Publishers, 2016), 67.
Network, network, network is all I hear about when trying to build my platform. But this can be rather exhausting, especially for someone who scores 90% on introvertedness. This means going to conferences and talking to people is out of the question. Web networking is much better, though I still have a slight aversion to it. I want people to read my blog and buy my books (future books, that is), but I’m told I must have a platform first. For someone as short as I am (pun intended), it's hard to build a platform big enough for people to see me. I'd be willing to slave for hours painting, drawing, and writing if I could construct a platform that way, but one mention of people and my vigor flails. You might as well be asking me to build the wall of China with popsicle sticks.
I don't like promoting myself, but I want to promote my stuff, and when I promote my stuff, I feel like I'm promoting myself and I begin to feel like a walking paradox. I don't want to be one of those people who visits blogs and comments, “That post is beautiful. Come see my blog.” I find it irritating when other people do that. When I comment, I want to mean it and not just compliment them to bribe them into reading my blog. I want them to know I'm there without waving a fifty-foot red flag, because, you know, I'm liable to get stampeded by bulls. Nor do I want to be one of those people who follows others just so they'll follow them back.
Networking is also slightly nerve-wracking. I remember the day that I opened my Instagram account. I posted some old paintings and likes were striking my posts faster than lightning. I was a mixture of happy and freaking out because how were these people finding me? I hadn't even followed anybody yet! Then people started following me and I hoped they weren't some stalker who planned to bomb my house. Yes, I'm an INFJ, which includes overthinking, overreacting, and over-everything else. I worry about what I post on my blog. Maybe I sounded weird. Maybe I used improper grammar. Maybe I'm not posting enough or perhaps I'm posting too much. Maybe I should post more about myself. Maybe I accidentally offended someone when I wrote that I disliked the taste of watermelon…
I still worry more than I should but God has shown me that networking isn't everything. He can make my readership grow aside from everything I try to do. I don't intend to abandon the construction of my platform, but trust His guidance to show me how to build it. The project may require moving out of my comfort zone, but that doesn't mean I'm going to jump in a lake because a certain platforming book told me so (besides, I can't swim so the step would be fatal). I'll do what works for me, remembering that there are more important things in life than having a large readership.
Mariposa is a self-taught artist and aspiring children's author who captures the glories of God's creation on paper. She has a Ph.D. in creativity and a master's degree in imagination.
Aberdeen is a book-eating, ink-drinking dinosaur from the createtus period. When he isn't falling into plot holes or taking cover from the volcano of ideas, he's hanging out with Dee-Dee the doodledactyl. Read full bio