Put Down the Red Pen

May 11, 2018


I am excited and proud to feature my cousin, Ben Windoffer, as guest blogger for May. Ben inspires me in many ways – his heart for God and family, his optimism, faith and can-do spirit. He has experienced challenges and hardships (you can read more by clicking the Share Your Story tab, Ben and Brenda) and he never gives up.

Ben is Pastor of Church Communications and Media for First Church of the Nazarene in New Albany, Ohio. He is newly married to his beautiful bride, Brenda and awesome step-dad to Tyler, 19, Riley, 17, and Mya, 13. Ben wrote a blog way before I ever thought of writing one and I am so excited to have his words here today.

OK…I’ll just go ahead and admit it…

I watch HGTV – and no, I will not be turning in my man card anytime soon!

HGTV is the go-to channel for me and my wife. The entertainment is pretty wholesome and I love watching transformation from beginning to end take place. I ain’t no Chip Gaines or Jonathan from the Property Brothers, but would certainly love to be as it would make all those household projects WAY easier!

Upon one sit down of HGTV they were running through the “must haves” of one party. And that’s when I noticed it…

a typo.

I’ll admit, I did take some small satisfaction in finding what several paid editors missed. Yet at the same time, I could totally relate to the horror these individuals were feeling.

You see, part of my job encompasses putting together the printed as well as the majority of the on screen items for our Sunday Morning Services at church.

Some weeks, regardless of how many times I go through something and “red pen” the mistakes, a typo inevitably makes its way through.

When it comes up it feels like a glaring zit at the end of my nose. And of course, it’s the one screen that stays up for what seems like an eternity!

Life is like that for us.

We as humans are going to make mistakes. It’s a given, and when we do make a mistake we generally know it. We don’t need it proclaimed across the mountaintops.

We need to lay down our red pens when it comes to life. Click To Tweet

Don’t judge others, and God won’t judge you. Don’t be hard on others, and God won’t be hard on you. Luke 6:37, CEV

You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19, NLT

A few years ago I decided, as best I could, to not let the small stuff become the big stuff.

Sometimes it’s so easy to nitpick at things that have absolutely nothing to do with one’s well-being or the grand scheme of eternity and we end up blowing it way out of proportion.

Feelings get hurt and friendships, families, churches get ripped apart – sometimes the damage is irreparable.

This doesn’t give us free reign to consistently sin.

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Romans, 6:1-2, NLT

Nor does it mean that we are to keep silent when it comes to redemptively and lovingly approaching others in the wrong they are doing…

If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. Matthew 18:15-16, NLT

My friends, you are spiritual. So if someone is trapped in sin, you should gently lead that person back to the right path. But watch out, and don’t be tempted yourself. Galatians 6:1, CEV

When it comes to the inconsequential things of life, maybe we are best to leave well enough alone and lay down our red pens.

Perhaps instead of noticing the bad, the mistakes, the different, we should instead look for the good in people and encourage that!

After all, wouldn’t we want the same courtesy extended to us?

Don’t say anything that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you. Ephesians 4:29, GW

Ben Windoffer is one who does not like the spotlight and prefers being behind the scenes in about any scenario, which is ironic given that he put himself out there in blog format.  He is the husband to an amazing and beautiful wife, dad to three great kids and has two dogs who have their charming moments.

He is a fan of the creative element, the making of something from just the thought or idea, and the process it takes from beginning to end. Really he is just an uncomplicated man who oftentimes over complicates life and daily relies on God’s ever abundant amazing grace.  Join him on his journey at benwindoffer.wordpress.com.

More about Liz

I'm a free spirit. I hate rules and legalism. I love art and nature, music, the beach and dogs. I like to garden, take pictures and read. I tend to speak my mind and have a rip-the-band-aid -off approach to life. (Brace yourself, this might hurt.)

    1. Nice meeting you here, Ben! I smiled throughout your post as my hubby has been called the Grammar Nazi. If truth be told, I’m just as guilty and as you shared, the red pen sometimes overflows into real life — not only toward others but myself as well.

      1. Hi Cathy!

        I agree with you, the red pen often overflows into our own lives. I know I tend to be my own worst critic at times, and I need to be willing to extend grace to myself as well. I have to remind myself of that on a regular basis!

        Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by! Have an amazing day!

    1. What a creative way to approach our judgment of others. Those red pens need to remain in the drawer when it comes to marking up other peoples lives. The only red we should have on us is the blood of Jesus and His red is the only redemption that can correct those we meet. May we only use Jesus’ pen in a way that shows hurting souls how much that red can take away their pain. Great post, Ben!

      1. Excellent thoughts Barbara! Thanks so much for sharing and for stopping by! May your day be blessed!

    1. Hi Ben
      It’s nice meeting you and reading your insightful truth on judging others. We all make mistakes and are not perfect but we serve a perfect God and putting down those red pens is what God wants us to do. Thank you for your down to earth spirit and you are a inspiration to us all showing us God’s wonderful Amazinf Grace!!! Liz my friend you are Awesome I love your Heart for God you inspire me to more like Jesus everyday!!

      1. Awwww thank you Sydell – you inspire me as well…you are a light in the world and love your family so well. Thank you for your words of encouragement!

      1. Sydell, thank you so much for your kind words. God’s grace is amazing and I am so thankful for it!

        Appreciate you stopping by! God bless and have an amazing day!

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