by Suzie Eller
Last week we explored two ways to end our devotions, essays, or articles strong. In today’s Tuesday Tip, we continue with two more tips. I am using past Encouragement for Today devotions as examples. I’ll share a potential weaker ending, and then the stronger ending that was actually written and published.
Strong Ending #3: Leave them with something to remember
Reiterate the main theme or points in the end. This isn’t bullet points, but a summary that ends with a challenge, a promise, or reaffirming the main point(s).
EFT DEVO: OVERRIDING YOUR TO-DO LIST by Leah DiPascal
HOOK: I was a woman on a mission and nothing was going to stop me. Or, so I thought.
With an over-ambitious mindset and a determined heart, I clutched my lengthy to-do list as if it were a sacred antidote for life.
Having much to accomplish and only a few hours to spare, I whipped into a parking spot and made a mad dash towards the front doors of my local convenience store.
WEAK ENDING: Are you busy? Me, too. Let’s get out there and become women on a mission!
STRONG ENDING: Did you wake up this morning with a long to-do list and an ambitious mindset? When distractions come your way, try pausing for a moment to see if God is unwrapping a divine appointment for you. It may be disguised as ordinary circumstances. But as you peel back the layers, whispering “Yes Lord, I’ll obey,” you will no doubt experience His presence and glory!
Strong Ending #4: End with a promise
Is there a single promise that summarizes the entire article? Share that promise at the end in the form of encouragement, scripture, or an invitation to discover something more.
DEVO: When You Feel a Little Stalled by Suzie Eller
HOOK:I hung on to a vine to climb over one more rock. My heart was beating hard, and I struggled to catch my breath.
My friend turned in concern. “Are you okay?”
Well, yes and no.
When we started the hike I knew it was challenging, but I hiked often and this wasn’t my first tough trail to navigate. What I didn’t anticipate was the combination of elevation and the steepness of the climb.
WEAK ENDING: Psalm 23 says that He’ll walk with us in the valley. Follow the Shepherd and you’ll become a good hiker in life.
STRONG ENDING: When I finished the hike, I lay in the grass and threw my arms out at my sides in exhaustion and joy.
I had experienced sights that I would have never experienced otherwise. I learned what I could do, and what might help me the next time around.
If you’ve been feeling a little stalled, take heart. Feeling stalled is different than being stagnant. With God’s help, your stalled place can become a beautiful part of the adventure.
Read a current work-in-progress out loud. Is it a strong ending? Is it weak? Figure out how you can implement one of Suzie’s tips to create a stronger ending. Leave a comment and let us know which tip you’re going to use: leave them with something to remember or end with a promise.
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I agree with Deanna Baird. The weak and the strong next to each other is more helpful than just talking about what to do or not to do. This was an effective method of demonstration. I have work to do, but very thankful to have COMPEL on my team helping me learn.
I hadn’t realized just how “weak”my devotional writing can be. Appreciated the side by sides.
Hi there! I don’t know any other way to get a message to the ladies in charge so I’m posting it here……. Something is not working right with your website. Today I received five emails from Compel telling me that I was accepted into Devotional Writing #1 group. I didn’t request to be a member of that group, but thanks anyway! Feel free to give my spot to someone else.
Cynthia, you can always contact customer service but I see and hear you. At the bottom of the home page, there is a Support link. Just click on that anytime! Also, I’ll send this message to our Support team. It sounds like there is a technical glitch and they’ll jump on it!
It was a temporary glitch and has been fixed!