Writing For Christ By His Guidelines

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”?Writing For Christ Pinterest

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?

God’s guidelines

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?

God’s Ending

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

Profile photo of Rolena Hatfield
Rolena is a country loving girl who wears cowgirl boots and has dreamed of being Cinderella since she was four. She has an explosive imagination that leads her on crazy adventures in other worlds, yet she somehow always ends up back at her desk with a pencil and cup of coffee in hand. Beside writing at late night hours and devouring books, she has a tremendous love of music and musical theater. She blames them both for not being able to stay off a stage since age eleven, becoming a vocal teacher and now directing dramas. Her favorite places to be are up in her library (yes, she has a special room in her house just for books), outside for a romp or any place with people. On her shelf of favorite books you’ll find The False Prince, Once on This Island, Princess Academy and Bella at Midnight. Her favorite thing to do is laugh. Though she has tried to stop writing, she’s never been able too and has no intentions of doing so in the near future. Or ever for that matter.
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Comments

  1. Kate Flournoy says:

    Great thoughts! I actually came away from my computer not five minutes ago writing about the mission of us writers, and you covered a lot of what I didn’t have the space for. I guess I always thought that everyone had such a Biblical measuring stick, and a habit of using it faithfully, but good idea to write it down and remind us. We could always do with reminding in everything we do.
    *A Dragon!* Hey… I have a few of those!

    • Neat that you have dragons! My family has one bearded dragon and he’s named Sir George 🙂
      Yes it’s true that we humans are in constant need of reminders. I’m always amazed how easily I get sidetracked when I’m lost in the world of storytelling. I have to be brought back to what I want my foundation of inspiration to be; God’s Word. Glad that you too are writing about our mission. That’s a great way to remember things, by writing them down!

  2. Kate Flournoy says:

    Amen!
    Haha! A dragon named Sir George! I love that.

  3. Hana - Marmota says:

    I need to constantly remind myself, too… it’s so easy to get carried away in Story.
    One thing that occurred to me while reading your article: it’s not just different writers, it’s also different styles. There is, in fact, both romance (the Song of Song first and foremost) as well as completely different stories… as well as poems and historical accounts and what not. So the point is, it isn’t so much the type of writing as what it says!

    • That is so true! God used so many different styles to write His truth.
      And if I may continue your list… among the historical narrative and psalms there is also prophecy and letters!
      Very interesting thoughts!
      We also have many different styles of writing available for use in order to share His truth with the world and encourage brothers and sisters in Christ!

  4. Thank you for taking the time to write this article! I’ve struggled with this and how to make my stories point back to God for His glory. Especially with fantasy, it can be very difficult to do more than present good morals. Fantasy is heading some very dark places now and it is very difficult to write a God-glorifying fantasy novel. It can be very easy to slip into the norm but we need to remember what our purpose is in writing! Thank you for this article! 🙂

  5. Thank you so much! I have been trying to think this over for a while, constantly going back in forth in my head over just this issue. This has settled some of that war. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m going to bookmark this page 😉

  6. Hi Miss Rolena,
    Thank you for your post. No matter how many times I hear this message I somehow always need reminding. I guess that’s my real life character development going on.
    I would like to say that I don’t agree with your last point 100%. I think sad ending are sometimes necessary. For instance, writing a story about a character that leads a godless life, that ultimately ends with the characters downfall, might save a real life person from following a similar path. I would say that people tend to learn from failure more than success, though I wish this weren’t so. (Even if it is someone else’s failure.)
    Still, I understand where you’re coming from. The Bible tells us to focus on what’s pure, right and good, and sad endings don’t exactly follow that ideal. Definitely worth some thought and prayer.
    Thanks again for the post.

    • Hi Lindsl! Thanks for your thoughts! Yes I didn’t expound as much as I could have on the last point, I definitely agree that sad endings can be very effective if done right. In fact, even the end of Revelation isn’t all a happy ending, believers will be forever in glory while others will spend forever in the lake of fire. I was focusing on the believer’s side of the story for that last point, but didn’t really think of that until you mentioned something. 🙂

  7. Hurray, Rolena! This article you’ve given us is “inspired” writing, indeed! Thank you so much for pouring out these elements of writing into our writing lives. Like you, I’ve been writing stories since I was young, and today (in my senior years) I continue to be blessed by the Holy Spirit’s active involvement as He encourages the next project. May God bless you in all your comings, goings and hours of writing!

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