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Writing for God's Glory

Writing for God's Glory

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“In the age of the printed word, where anything is publishable, it is easy to lose touch with what makes writing special.”
“In the age of the printed word, where anything is publishable, it is easy to lose touch with what makes writing special.”

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Published by: The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine on May 28, 2014
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Writing for God’s Glory
 By Randy Saller
With the availability offered by the Internet, people have access to countless blogs and articles on topics ranging from prayer to how to have eye-turning fingernails. In the age of the printed word, where anything is publishable, it is easy to lose touch with what makes writing special. Writing is not a man-made invention to be used however we please but a gift from God created for
His
 pleasure. Writing at its best is not mere self-expression but self-expression aiming to honor God by drawing attention to His beauty, holiness, genius, and goodness. The challenge of writing well goes deeper than finding words with hair-splitting accuracy or understanding the artistry of the semicolon (as important as that is). Parents must also train children to appreciate
writing for the power it has to awaken peoples’ affections to
know, love, and serve God. I want to share seven ways parents can prepare young aspiring
authors to write for God’s glory.
 
1. Understand the Influence of Reading
What we read strongly influences how we write. Reading is the act of thinking about and enjoying writing. If young people read writing material (including audio, which is writing read aloud) with little to no regard for God, their writing is likely to reflect this. First Corinthians 13:13
 
says
 , “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 
1
 
The greatest true story ever written is about the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ. Serious writers need consistent exposure to writing that points to and echoes the love story of Jesus for His Church. It is impossible to write too much about the love of Christ.
2. Study the Qualities of Perfect Writing
There is a perfect textbook for teaching writing
the Bible. The Bible is not a single book but rather is a collection of books. This divinely crafted library spans thousands of years of history, reflecting nearly every genre of writing, from poetry to prophecy. What book can surpass the wisdom of Proverbs? What story captures dignified romance like the book of Ruth? What work is more instructive on prayer than Psalms? The Bible surpasses all other writing textbooks because it is second to none in making holiness appear desirable and sin unappealing. Isaiah 5:20
 
says
 , “Woe unto them that call
evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter
for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” 
 One common temptation of writers is mixing up good and evil. Sadly, books that elevate corruption over honor often sell better. The Bible is a book t
hat disables man’s natural tendency to choose darkness over light.
 
3. Look to Others
Proverbs 27:17 says,
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” 
 
Writing is a team sport. Yes, an author’s name sits alone on a book’s cove
r, but the Acknowledgements page reveals how many other people were involved. Whether writing an essay or a novel, writers need the counsel and encouragement of others. One of the best gifts I ever received was an all-expense-paid trip to a Christian writing conference. Listening to lectures by published writers and getting feedback on my work renewed and clarified my
vision on writing for God’s glory.
 
If attendance at a conference is too expensive, consider attending a writing group (many libraries have one) or starting your own. Even meeting regularly with one person to share and discuss writing sharpens skills and offers a fresh perspective on work.
4. Make Serving God Your Supreme Joy
I get frustrated when I receive rejection letters from publishers. Thankfully, God showed me
that I was falling more in love with being published than with Him. It’s fine to work toward publication, but serving God must be the Christian writer’s source of contentment. If
honoring God is the goal, we always succeed, whether one person or billions of people read our work. One exercise I try to undertake regularly is to engage in writing that offers no financial compensation or widespread recognition. For me, this includes keeping a private prayer  journal and composing letters to others. A simple note of encouragement or thanks not only blesses someone, but it also cleanses the heart from preoccupation with self.
5. Consider the Responsibility of Writing
There’s more to writing than a functional laptop. Prayer and contempl
ation are the bread and butter of effective writing. There is a need for these spiritual disciplines (especially before writing in a public forum) because people are likely to read and reread our written work. The more you write, the more you are likely to influence others.
Don’t underestimate the power your writing has to bring hope or diminish it. One time on
the Web I impulsively wrote critical remarks. Thankfully, the person who hosted the site agreed to delete my comments. Writing is something we need to do with a degree of fear
and trembling, knowing we’re accountable to God for everything we say.
A gifted writer can easily fall prey to putting down others. Christians are not immune to
 “trash talk.” We can be so in love with an ideal or even a ministry that we dirty others’
names to forward our cause. There are times when writing something factual to expose false teaching is necessary, but our pleasure must be focused on glorifying God, not on degrading others. Proverbs 24:17 says,
“Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth,
 and let not
thine heart be glad when he stumbleth.”
Even when the wicked fall, a writer’s words must
be seasoned with grace.
6. Having God as Your Audience
There is never a time when God’s glory is irrelevant to writing. Does this mean all writing
must
be overtly Christian? I don’t think so. Our daily conversations are not always about God; the same is true for writing. This doesn’t mean God is left out. God is still our
audience, and His Word must shape the voice of our writing. Some fiction may not mention Jesus but can be so drenched with Biblical truth that the reader is given a sense of the sublime.
That being said, Christian writing more often than not should unashamedly direct a reader’s mind to Christ. Remember that it’s Jesus Who changes lives—
not creative writing. Men will not come to Christ through good stories alone, but through the proclamation of the Word of
God. If we love God’s Word and have a passion to write, why not bring these two loves
together as often as possible?
7. Be Heavenly-Minded
Vincent Van Gogh sold one painting in his lifetime, even though he created hundreds,
because others recognized his genius only after Van Gogh’s death. Many writers today may be overlooked by the world but be encouraged that anything done in Christ’s
 name will be

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