by Cynthia Ruchti

An unknown author said, “The love of money may be the root of all evil, but greed is the fertilizer.”

A godly person is a generous person, the Bible tells us. A God-honoring person is motivated to give, not motivated by greed.

“Generous persons will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed,” Proverbs 11:25 Common English Bible.

Truth. Truth. Truth. But how does that realization affect us as novelists?

Every good thing comes from above. Few writers would argue. Storylines, characters, plot twists, conclusions–all may be products of our fingers on the keyboard, but we’re conscious of the collaborative effort of the Christian novelist and God. Every good thought comes from above.

What emerges from our gratitude is a strong compulsion to help other writers navigate the paths we’ve crossed. We volunteer for critiquing, judging contests, mentoring, serving, praying, teaching.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve observed novelists giving generously, refreshing others, rising above their own concerns to meet other writers’ needs. Every writer has a unique tolerance limit for serving in those roles in addition to their responsibilities of meeting deadlines and marketing their books. That boundary, too, is from above for the novelist who stays in step with their life’s and faith’s Author.

In a noteworthy way, Proverbs 11:25 comes alive when authors give of themselves to nurture other writers in their craft. The generous find themselves refreshed.

And more than one would tell, too, of elusive ideas revealing themselves fully formed, or an email announcing an answer to prayer, or another writing opportunity that arrives while the novelist is still in the middle of serving. Only God could do that.

During the conference season, we’ll see it happening again and again. Writers helping other writers. Exhausting as it is for any of us to invest that kind of time and energy, God’s Word tells us–and experience confirms–that those who refresh others are themselves refreshed.