The desire to change the world is not evil; the desire to be known for it is.
For where jealously and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. – James 3:16
This has been a struggle for me.
As many of you know, I have been writing a book since I graduated from high school – an encouragement to high school saints to “take the narrow road” and be uncommon for Christ (Matthew 7:13-14). My project is almost finished. I am in the editing process, and the manuscript will soon be sent to publishers and literary agents (tentatively, the end of September). The journey has been grueling, mainly because a novel’s process is obscure amidst the legion of edits and late nights. You put so much time, so much effort, and sacrifice into something, yet the finish line is unseen. Thus, my flesh has been tempted to latch onto other masquerades of motivation: the prospect of fame, money, a new identity. Hence, delighting in Jesus as the cornerstone of my endeavor has sustained me. He’s so stable, so firm, so unshakeable, and so reliable while the cancers of the world give way.
I have asked myself, “Would I be content if I didn’t sell a single novel?” “Would I still have joy if my name wasn’t on the cover?” Is Jesus truly the sole fuel behind the engine of my thoughts?
I must accredit John Piper’s works, which have been so uplifting in this journey. Piper teaches that God is the only being in the universe whose self-exaltation is loving. God is the gospel. For us to exalt ourselves is hateful. If the odor from our actions reeks, “Look at me! Look at me! Me! Me!” we are being evil. However, for God to exalt Himself is love, because God is love. He is our joy! Not his love, kindness, grace, or mercy! HIM! Scripture is dominated by the idea that the greatest gift God could give us is Himself.
Jesus is wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30)
Jesus is truth. (John 14:6)
Jesus is love. (1 John 4:8)
Jesus is glory. (Colossians 3:4)
Jesus is Lord. (Romans 10:9, Philippians 3:20)
So with every word, every paragraph, every click of the keyboard, my aim is to see Jesus a bit more clearly through my Christian hedonism.
And fortunately, delighting – being happy – in Jesus is not a suggestion, but a command.
Your friend, D.Kim