Probably the most important lesson I learned when going back to school to study Creative Writing is never take credit for the work of others. The official and more serious terminology used for such an offense is plagiarism. The fact that one might inadvertently overlook giving credit to a rightful author in one’s writing is no excuse, and in a college setting might possibly result in a failing grade or even expulsion. The purpose behind this precept is obvious. Do not take credit for someone else’s creativity and hard work!

When I first began my studies at Liberty University and read about the severity of plagiarism, the idea of accidentally failing to recognize an author caused tremendous angst. Then, I realized the way to avoid making this mistake is to adequately research and be diligent in noting immediately when quoting the work of others. No sloppiness. No shortcuts. Always strive to put forth my best effort in writing or any other craft, giving credit where credit belongs.

Every time I am inspired to write, the realization from where the inspiration comes is clear. Whether waking to a beautiful sunrise, or the down-pouring of rain soaking the ground to revive the earth, “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm above). The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us, “There is nothing new under the sun” (1:9). Every song. Every poem. Every piece of beautiful art form begins with the Creator of the universe. Look into the night sky; God’s “canvas” is vast for our pleasure.

Therefore, let us give thanks to the One Who created all things from which we draw upon for breath, life, hope, and the inspiration to spread goodness to those around us. God is the Author of creation, and all that is good and right in the world; without Him, words would not exist. Indeed, without Him, you and I would not exist!

Thank you, God, for being The Word to us and through us, that we might enjoy and share in your creative nature. Amen.