Friday 4 May 2018

To share or not to share?

Thoughts from Jenny Glazebrook

Pictures taken from Google Images

Every time we share from the heart we are giving a gift.

Every time we write and allow others to read our work, we are sharing the gift God has given us and handing it out to others.

What other people do with that gift is not something we can control, nor something we should try to control.

That’s why it’s so hard to share from the heart, to put everything out there. Not everyone will respect it. Not everyone will use that inside knowledge the way we hope they will. They may even use it against us or take advantage of our vulnerability. It may make them feel powerful or better than we are.

But when we put our words, our hearts, our lives out there, they are no longer ours. Our privacy is no longer ours. We are on display for the world to see, weaknesses and all. Just like King David, Peter, Thomas ...

Not easy.

Is it really worth it?

During my Bible College years I heard a story about a missionary couple. We’ll call them the Jones family. They had very little and so a couple we’ll call the Coopers felt led to give them a significant financial gift. It gave them pleasure to think of their money being used to help spread the Gospel, maybe to buy Bibles, to feed the family on the mission field ... maybe support a few orphans?

But the Jones family used that money to buy a very expensive toy for their own little girl. The Coopers were horrified. It seemed so frivolous to buy a toy of such high quality when there were so many other needs on the mission field. It seemed ungodly, unspiritual.

Years later, the Coopers had a family of their own. They didn’t have much and were struggling financially. Then the Joneses turned up, back from the mission field. Their little girl had grown up and had no more need of the toy they’d bought. Would the Cooper family like it? It was such high quality that it was still in excellent condition even after all these years.

That toy brought great delight to the children of the Cooper family who had so little. The choice the Joneses made when they chose to buy the toy, the choice that disturbed the Coopers, was now a great blessing being given back to them. The Coopers realised that they hadn’t really given with their whole heart. They had given with expectations and judged the way the recipients used that gift.

This challenged me greatly. Sometimes I am hesitant about sharing my heart. Who knows how it will be taken, used or abused? I have expectations, I believe I have the right to be respected and understood and for my words to be taken the way they are intended. Maybe I hope people will think better of me, rather than less, for what I share. Yes, of course I want to glorify God, but am I willing to accept the cost of it showing my own weakness? Of being vulnerable?

And yet, in sharing our hearts we are giving a priceless gift. Just like Jesus death on the cross, it may be misunderstood, taken for granted, abused …

But what about those it blesses? What about those who are touched, encouraged, drawn closer to God through it? Isn’t it worth it to know our words have brought about good and helped someone? Isn't it worth it if there's even a chance someone's life will be eternally changed by our vulnerability?

I don’t want fear of peoples’ reactions to stop me sharing from the heart, from being open and honest. 
I don’t want fear of rejection to stop me sending my work to publishers, fear of negative reviews to stop me publishing, fear of people seeing how human I really am to stop me from being real.

Jo-Anne and Anusha's book
I recently read Anusha Atukorala’s new book, ‘Dancing in the Rain.’ (to be officially launched in Adelaide of 12th May).
Anusha has been courageously honest about her personal experiences, her heart, her struggles and triumphs. I was so deeply blessed and could relate to every word she wrote because she was willing to be so real. If she had been guarded I doubt the words would have touched me so deeply.

Jo-Anne Berthelsen’s book, ‘Becoming Me’ is another book that has touched me this way.

I have a friend I've been reaching out to. She leads a very messy life and believes she's not good enough to come to God. I tried to tell her we are all messed up, we all have sin and darkness in our hearts. She said, 'But Jen, you've always been good.' It shocked me to the core. Was the 'spiritual front' I was presenting, the way I was guarding my weaknesses and hiding my struggles, actually holding people back from understanding the Gospel? I tried to tell her what really goes on in my heart and where I was before God began transforming me. She couldn't accept it.

I want to challenge us as Christians to be willing to share our hearts, to pour them out as a gift offering to God and others. Of course we need to use discretion and be wise, but at the same time, we need to stop protecting ourselves and instead, pour ourselves out for God and others. For when we are open about our weaknesses and humanity, God is lifted up as He lifts us up, carries us and transforms us.

This is something I am still learning and working on. I would love to hear other peoples’ thought on this.

Note: I want to make it clear that I am not condoning theft of someone’s work. I am talking about how a reader receives the gift of honesty and heartfelt openness you are offering through your work. Pirating or stealing an author’s work is not glorifying to God or beneficial to anyone. It is allowing someone to commit a crime and get away with it. Even Jesus was angry when he saw people using God’s work for deception and evil gain at the temple. He said they had made it into a den of thieves, overturned their tables and threw them out. Both Jesus and Paul say, ‘A worker is worthy of their wages.’

Jenny Glazebrook lives in the country town of Gundagai with her husband, Rob and 4 children along with many pets. She is the published author of 7 novels, 1 traditionally published, and 6 self published. She is currently working on her next series with publisher, Breath of Fresh Air Press. She writes because words burn within her. She is an experienced inspirational speaker, a chaplain, and loves to encourage others to walk closer with God and hear His voice each day.  

Jenny’s website is:


  1. Thank you Jenny for sharing your heart :) and for such an important reminder. That’s the challenge, isn’t it, to be real, to be generous, and offer our vulnerability through our words and writings as a sacrifice for God without strings, as we lay our lives down for His cause. Thank you for being honest and open and encouraging us once again ❤️

    1. Thanks Carolyn. Yes, it's the 'without strings' bit that can be hard!

  2. Such wise thoughts about vulnerability, Jenny--thank you. Yes, it can be a risk to be so open and honest and real in our writing, but as you say, if someone is encouraged and drawn closer to God in the process then surely it is worth it. I remember when I was writing 'Becoming Me', one of my manuscript readers said to me, 'But do you REALLY want to put all this out there for others to read?' For a moment, it made me a little uncertain, but then I felt strongly 'Why not, if it helps others?' And I still stand by that decision. And what an insightful comment of yours that our hiding and pretending could be holding others back from drawing closer to God! Hmm.

    1. I am so grateful for your book and that you were willing to give the gift of vulnerability. It certainly blessed me!

  3. I appreciated your article, thanks Jenny. I try to be sensitive to God and the other people involved in how much I share. I'm sure I don't always get it right but . . . Thanks.

    1. Yes, Jeanette, I'm still learning and I know I often get it wrong. It really is that sensitivity to God and His prompting that is so important, isn't it!

  4. I always enjoy hearing what you have to say. Thank you

    1. Thanks Christine. Appreciate you commenting!

  5. Hi Jenny, like Christine, I always enjoy reading your thoughts. Sharing our stories is so important, perhaps for no other reason than we discover more about our God. And what a great reason.

    1. I agree, that's a great reason to share stories!

  6. Hi Jenny, looking at it as a gift is a great idea, and the story you used to illustrate the point touches me too. Sometimes the biggest written gifts we present are those which are hardest to offer, and make us feel more vulnerable. But this perspective helps us to carry on when it all seems too hard. Thank you.

    1. Thanks Paula. Yes, that story is one I have never forgotten, although it's almost 20 years since I heard it. Always so challenging to be vulnerable and give with our whole hearts!

  7. Inspiring and encouraging. Perhaps our struggles and dramas will be an encouragement for others. Perhaps some will think less of us. But I guess if we apply wisdom and ask for Gods grace, it is in His hands to use as a catalyst for blessed change.

  8. I love this thought: 'Every time we share from the heart we are giving a gift.' You are a heart person and so generous with everything you do. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here. xxx


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