Get that Plank out of my Eye!

Since we talked about villains last week, these verses in Proverbs 24:17-18 caught my eye yesterday. “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.”

Isn’t that an eye-opener?

Yeah, the villain is a bad guy, but taking pleasure in his punishment isn’t good either.

So…at the end of the book when the bad guy gets his just desserts, my hero better not gloat, or the next thing he knows his author will have to help him confront his pride issues!!!

As a writer I spend a lot of time contemplating the truths my characters need to learn. My understanding of these truths, and my need to embrace them in my own life often grows as a result.

Oftentimes, their complexities don’t fully gel in my mind until I tackle crafting the study questions for the back of the book–like the ones we’ve been exploring here each Monday.

That’s where I’m at right now with the third book in my undercover cops series. Originally titled Dose of Deception, the book, at the spiritual level, explores many levels of deception, but most importantly how we deceive ourselves.

In a romance, someone who has been burned by love may say they’re not interested in dating again, but really they’re afraid of being hurt again. Deep down they know they will be…

Even deeper than that, they don’t trust God to be sufficient when the inevitable happens.

Your turn: Can you think of a time when you tried to convince yourself that you were doing the right thing and perhaps even offered noble reasons for your choice or decision, but deep down that choice was driven by fear?


  • Wow. This is profound stuff, sis. I think my reluctance to get back into the ministry after we left it for a time was motivated by fear. You get knocked down and kicked by people you think loved you, it’s hard to go back for more. But you’re right–it all boils down to trust in the Lord to heal any wounds inflicted. And I finally had to say I loved Him and embraced His call on my husband more than I loved staying safe from pain.

  • And it’s so hard, isn’t Jen? For my character, I think he has to come to terms with does he really, honestly believe God is good when so many bad things happen.

    At our core, I think we all struggle with that question when we lose someone or have been hurt or see devastating loss and can’t understand why God allows these things to happen.

  • Sandra, you and Jeanette are both amazing.
    Fear for our children’s safety has motivated me to step out of my comfort zone more than once and stand up for them.
    Also, I try to always learn something from the stories I write.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Wow. Great question, Sandra.

    I used to be more fearful about things…but not anymore. I think it just all wraps around my trust in God now. I didn’t have that when I was younger. Even the writing thing…it seems different now that I have put my total trust in Him.

    I will start reading your book next weekend, Sandra…so looking forward to it. I’m two weeks behind on everything.

  • Jackie, that’s a great example of a positive way to use fear. And yes, isn’t so true how much we learn about ourselves by trying to figure out what our characters need to learn? Ugh!

  • Loree, it is great to hear that you’ve been able to put those fears behind you. I’d love to hear what prompted the turning point. Is there a verse that spoke to you? Or an experience?

  • I agree with Jeanette… is all about Trust. I was in “ministry” 31 yrs. and saw hurtful situations…some did not have Jeanette’s trust.
    By the way, Sandra, I finished Deep Cover! Loved it! Can’t wait for more books from you. This one goes into church library where it will be enjoyed by many.

  • Nothing like creating a little inner conflict in your readers, eh Sandra?

    I’ve battled the whole fear/trust issue forever it seems. Life experiences have taught me to fear — it’s almost a knee-jerk reaction to anything, good or bad. I can definitely recognize the difference when I add trust in God into the situation. Unfortunately, I don’t always do that from the start. Honestly, you’d think I’d learn but….I don’t consider myself hard-hearted, but I am hard-headed about some things!!!! LOL

  • I think my telling Cassandra that it best she not ride for months was definitely fear talking. A few weeks is more realistic in terms of the healing time she needs, at least according to the doctor, it is. Maybe we’ll find a happy medium? All I know is I’m holding off as long as I can!

    Yes, fear sure is deceptive, but I think a lack of fear can be equally unhealthy.

Great to "see" you here today! I look forward to reading your comment.