The Writers Conscience And Something About A Goose

The Writers Conscience And Something About A Goose



Once, I was in a hotel suite arguing with some pastors. They thought their job was to tell others what to think. They believed the people in their congregations should obey them on all things great and small

I asked them, “If 999 times out of 1000 I am inclined to obey my church leaders, but 1 time out of 1000 my conscience won’t allow it, shouldn’t I obey my conscience?” 

It’s a good question. What happens if we don’t obey our conscience? I’ll tell you. 

We lose it. 

One of the men beat his chest and replied, “I make my conscience obey me,” and then explained how he told his “leader” to tell him what to think about a certain issue. 

He did not say to the man, “Convince me with logic.” He said, “Just tell me what to think.” 

I said, “No, you gave him your conscience. You don’t have one now. Now he is your conscience.” 

This is bad…really bad. 

I am blessed to write for a living. 90% of that writing is co-writing (ghostwriting, but for credit) with authors who have a message on their hearts but don’t know how to write a book. It is my joy and privilege to partner with them so they can take responsibility for the truth God has given them.  

That does not mean that I always agree with what they believe to be true on a given issue, but that does not matter, because this is their book. Would you go around silencing everyone with a different opinion than yours? 

Because that does happen in certain places, and when it does, it’s not good. It’s evil. 

In Acts 24:16, Paul, under oath, says to Felix, “So I always take pains to have a clear conscience before both God and man.”

My passion is that anyone who says this should be able to publish their message. The world has always changed when men and women spoke up, even those who are wrong. If you are wrong, and you speak up (or write a book), then the world can correct you with facts. If you are right, then the world can become a better place. 


Writing Craft 


Don’t forget this week who your main character is. It’s your reader

What I’m Reading This Week 

Anxious Church, Anxious People by Jack Shitama. Jack takes a difficult, but brilliant book by Edwin Friedman, A Failure of Nerve, and simplifies it for the church leadership context. In brief, it is a book about how a leader can practice healthy self-differentiation, avoid emotional triangles, carry a vision, and help the members of the church do their own healthy differentiating. It’s a powerful book and will apply to any family, church, or organization. Where there are people, there is anxiousness, and some ways of dealing with that are better than others. 

Something Random About a Goose


I saw a goose walking down some stairs today in front of the Illinois Wesleyan University Ames Library. I have never seen that before, have you? He or she was being very careful about it, each webbed foot trembling as it looked for solid footing. He or she was successful, but I wondered, “why not just fly down?” and “did he or she walk up those steps too?” 

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