Man point sword

Ever feel bombarded by small battles? Multiple gauntlets are thrown down, issuing one challenge after another. We seek satisfaction, running around picking up gloves, accepting challenges, and dueling in match after match until exhausted and spread too thin.

All these small battles, although significant, fray our rope. By expending all our energy on the smaller skirmishes, we’re left with nothing in our tank to fight the big battle.

Our true mission gets muddled in the frenzy. Our message is buried while we argue lesser points.
In November, I virtually attended ACFW Virginia’s writer’s conference and sat in on Historical Romance Author Kristi Ann Hunter’s class on incorporating message into your story to make an impact. One point she said that stuck with me was, “never go too long before touching base with the message.” While Kristi spoke of writing, I wondered when I last touched base with my life’s message?

fencing or duel

Love Because You are Loved is my tag-line and, loving others because God first loved me is my mission, but when life says en garde and advances, am I counter-parrying with love? Have smaller challenges frayed the main thread of my life song? Have I taken my eyes off my real opponent for too long?

Here are a few other things Kristi noted in bold, followed by how I relate the points toward life.

The message must be:

  • Relevant to the story – It’s crucial to be intentional. We can fight with purpose when we’re staying on message and not distracted by the smaller battles.
  • Essential to the plot -Not every gauntlet needs to be picked up. Although some small battles may be important, they may not be ours to fight.
  • Demonstrated as well as stated (or show don’t tell) – Are we walking the talk? I’m constantly reminding myself and my boys that we are representatives of Jesus. The world is happy to tempt us and then condemn us for doing what it led us to do. It’s so easy to be baited into losing our cool, railing at being wronged, but how does that affect our witness? I can be more effective if I’m acting as a light and behaving in a loving manner.

Intentionally keeps our focus on the mission. God has a plan for us, but we must avoid being weakened by side battles. We must stick to our message. Proclaim it loud and clear. Go through life by design, not by default.

“I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Romans 9:17

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