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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Plagiarizing is better

Since way back in middle school, I've realized that while I write okay, and have my own original thoughts, there is always someone who writes better and thinks more original than I do. So as often as I felt I could, without being detected by the plagiarizing radar, I would copy and write what others have already written. I'd change some words usually so that it was technically my idea, but in reality it wasn't. I'm not proud of this, but I dont' feel guilty either.

So this trend evolved another step yesterday when I preached Wednesday night service while our Senior Pastor is in Peru. I flat out plagiarized a sermon. I knew I was pressed for time and hadn't prepared well enough for a message, so a CD came my way with another pastor's message on a great topic. I spend a couple hours transcribing it, then making it my own (my own words, my own stories, etc)

Again, I'm not proud of it, but I don't feel guilty either. The saying "the good borrow, the great steal" kind of encouraged me it would be fine.
Funny - maybe sad - thing about it is everyone thouht it was so good to the point I felt they liked it better than what I normally give them. Maybe it's just my repressed guilt condemning me.

So what do you think? If you sat in church and heard a great message to later find out the pastor had plagiarized it off of another pastor would you feel cheated, disappointed, fine with it, could care less, or something else?