I always need renewed vision when I’m writing. I’m constantly needed to be reminded of my purpose in why I’m writing in the first place. And recently I’ve been challenged to stop and think…
Why is writing so important to me? Why do I spend hours at a time clicking away at the keys to add words to another page?
Or maybe the question should be: why should writing be so important to me?
Is the answer “because I love it” good enough? Or “because I have something to say”?
Should these be the answers that justify the hours and hours of time we pour into our stories? I suggest that they should not. There is so much more to writing than our love for it and because we have something to say. And it all lies on this one fact; that we belong to Christ. (“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then were all dead: And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.” 2 Cor. 5:14-15) Therefore we represent Him in all that we do.
So how should we reflect, nay, radiate whom we represent?! I would like to propose this idea, which has given me new inspiration to continue writing for Him.
Why not let God’s Book be our inspiration?
Think about God’s Book. Since God wrote it, the book is perfect; therefore He is a perfect author. And we don’t have many of those in our culture today, do we? In fact, He’s the only perfect author I know. Which also means His book is the ultimate example for me, in everything I do, including how I write.
So how do we create our books in light of His perfect Words? How do we radiate His Words in the words we write?
First of all, the incredible thing about God’s Book is that it is not just a story. It is full of accounts of literal events that happened and holds the only truth we have today. And it is the guidelines not only for our writing, but for our lives. (“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Tim. 3:16)
So keep in mind that God’s book is alive (“For the word of God is quick and powerful…” Hebrews 4:12) and our books, unable to apply this aspect of God’s, will only be able to point people towards His live words. That being said, I do find that there are some things we can learn from God’s book that we can apply to our own.
Let’s look at God’s creative style through a couple of the techniques He uses in writing His book.
40 different “writers”
First of all, amazing to me, God uses men to write His Words down in a book. (“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” 2 Peter 1:21). While we aren’t given direct revelation from God’s Spirit Himself, God has created us with amazing abilities to create stories.
He wrote with purpose
Just think. God orchestrated the order of amazing events, for example, in the Israelites’ lives, such as the plagues in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea. And then He told certain men, moved by the Holy Spirit to write out the “story” as the account had happened. And how many people have learned truth from these true accounts?
Write from your experiences, with the intent to point others to the truth.
I’ve been amazed at how many times I’ve ended up using things the Lord has taught me in my own life, in my character’s lives. This helps me relay the emotion, the struggle, the consequences, whether good or bad in a realistic way. It gives me more realistic imagination for certain scenes where I’ve experienced the exact thing I’m putting my protagonist through. It helps me understand what the response might be when I can say, “I’ve been there. I’ve done that.”
Or take Christ’s example of parables.Webster defines a parable as a usually short fictitious story that illustrates a moral attitude or a religious principle. Christ’s parables were told with purpose. They were stories to illustrate a point.
To point people to Christ’s kingdom.
Write with the purpose to point your readers to Christ and His kingdom.
What if we were to challenge ourselves to write only with this purpose? I find it neat that the only stories we have recorded that are told by Christ, are ones that are told only with a specific purpose in mind in order to point others to truth.
So the question now is: how should I write for Christ with the purpose to point others to the truth, when everyone seems to have different ideas about how I should go about it?
I believe it is important for every Christian writer to write to Christ’s glory and honor. But sometimes it seems that what one person finds honoring, seems dishonoring to another. Some people are alright with high levels of romance. Some are not. Some people are alright with high levels of violence. Some are not.
One of the problems with the controversy over what should be acceptable content is that often conflict arises when we base our acceptances on our own convictions. Rather than comparing our work to our fellow believers’ work by the standards we are convicted by, we should compare our work and theirs to God’s guidelines.
The Bible doesn’t have a list of rules on how we should write, but it does have God’s principles that should be applied to whatever we write and to the rest of our lives as a matter of fact.
Write using the principles from His Word, in the way that He uses them.
From these principles, I know that God convicts each writer concerning standards. What really matters is each writer accurately portraying the truth of God’s principles in their stories.
Here are a few questions I’ve been asking myself when I’m contemplating whether or not what I’m writing is an accurate portrayal of God’s truth.
- Will this leave my reader with thoughts that are pure or impure?
- How is this wrong resolved? Are realistic consequences shown?
- What am I basing right and wrong on: man’s opinion or God’s?
- Do I leave my readers wondering what is truly right and wrong or is it left vague?
- Whom am I trying to please: the readers or God?
As I’m sure you’ve read before, make sure you portray what God calls sin as sin. On the other hand make sure you commend and don’t put down what God says is right.
The results of following God’s guidelines are worth it. And it’s also why writing should be so important to us. We have the opportunity to write with purpose, sharing the truth of God’s principles with our readers. What a rare opportunity!
This should be the purpose of our writing. This is what should drive me to keep writing. This is what should make writing important to me.
And hey, maybe that kind of book won’t sell 1,000,000 copies or make it to the best seller list, but at least God will be truly honored and glorified.
(“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory, for Thy mercy, and for Thy truth’s sake.” Psalm 115:1)
So, challenge yourself to write with the principles of God’s Book. And if you find yourself questioning whether truth is rightfully portrayed in your book, submit your book to God’s publishing house. Do they meet His guidelines?
And as the Lord’s perfect book examples for us… conclude with a happy ending!
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Revelation 22:12-14