Qualities vs. Symptoms

0 comments Posted on February 23, 2017

Rhonda Rheaby Rhonda Rhea

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I have some very unique and useful character qualities. Granted, most better psychoanalysts might not refer to them as “character qualities” as much as they refer to them as “symptoms,” but still.

I think writers acquire an exclusive symptom or two…make that a “quality” or two…that others don’t necessarily encounter. Maybe it’s the inordinate amount of rejection we’re called to deal with, but insecurity is so often the order of the day. Not to mention that when fiction writers hear new little voices in their heads, they never medicate. No, they actually encourage the little voices. And then publish them.

This week, though, I experienced a “quality” beyond voices. It’s a weird thing that happens to me now and again. I look over the writing du jour and I keep thinking I’ve misspelled words—even when I haven’t.

I think I might be a typo-chondriac.

Join the InsanityInterestingly enough, if the psycho-professionals come up with a 12-step program for typo-chondriacs, I’m pretty sure step one will be admitting you don’t have a problem.

When it comes to successfully walking out this life for Christ, though, we have to recognize right from the get-go our complete lack of ability to make it happen ourselves. We do have a problem. And without surrendering to the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit, there’s no hope for resolving that problem. No 12-step program. No self-help book. Personally speaking, I don’t even have a horn to toot. Not a leg to stand on. Not a keyboard to type on. It’s got to be all Him and zero me.

You’d think that would cause a more intense insecurity than even a writer has to bear. But it doesn’t. As a matter of fact, it’s the exact opposite. There is great security in knowing that I don’t have to depend on my own abilities. There is even greater security in knowing that I can so completely depend on the One who is all-powerful. Paul reminds us in Philippians 3:3 that, “We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort” (NLT).

The Amplified version of Philippians 3:3 puts it this way: “Put no confidence or dependence on what we are in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances.” That pretty much settles it. Nothing we’ve done. Nothing we’ve said. Nothing we are. Nothing inside us. Nothing outside us. Victory in the walk of faith will only happen as we rely totally and completely in the all-powerful one. And in Him our security is sure.

So it’s not such a terrible thing to recognize that even though I’m a writer, with all the built-in insecurities and various “qualities” that come with it, I don’t have to live in insecurity. There’s freedom in recognizing I have nothing to offer in and of myself, but that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” (Philippians 4:13, NKJV).

That’s especially refreshing to dwell on when I realize that on top of my typo-chondria, I think I might be coming down with a touch of kleptomania. Gee, I hope there’s something I can take for that.

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