This is the fourth post in an ongoing series. Find the full series here.
A few months ago, I started requesting feedback from writer friends for my forthcoming novella. One friend replied with the suggestion that I cut almost a page and a half from the beginning. He wrote, “I know what it is like as a writer for someone to tell me, “I don’t think you actually need those sentences.” BLUH! I WORKED HARD ON THOSE SENTENCES AND DAMMIT, I LIKE THEM! Anyway, I’m risking straight talk…”
It didn’t take me long to realize that his recommendation was right. The paragraphs contributed nothing to the story. Moreover, they were the weakest writing of the piece.
Nevertheless, it hurt. I’d slaved over that section. And, while I reincorporated the better bits elsewhere, most of it was cut and gone. Deleted.
This is one more way good discipleship is like good editing—it is sometimes painful. The author of Hebrews tells us that all discipline is painful. But, later on, it yields good fruit.
Sometimes a brother or sister in Christ—someone who loves us and desires our best—needs to approach us and say, “I’m risking straight talk here, but it looks to me like you need to cut this out of your life.” Ouch.
Pruning hurts, but it benefits the tree, the author, and the Christian. As with my writer friend, when it is good advice offered for a useful purpose, such counsel is sure to yield sweet fruit in the future.