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Writing for Gods 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 Gods 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 writingthe 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
that disables mans 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 authors name sits alone on a books cover, 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 Gods 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. Its fine to work toward
publication, but serving God must be the Christian writers 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
Theres more to writing than a functional laptop. Prayer and contemplation 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.

Dont 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 were 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 writers words must
be seasoned with grace.

6. Having God as Your Audience
There is never a time when Gods glory is irrelevant to writing. Does this mean all writing
must be overtly Christian? I dont think so. Our daily conversations are not always about
God; the same is true for writing. This doesnt 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 readers
mind to Christ. Remember that its Jesus Who changes livesnot creative writing. Men will
not come to Christ through good stories alone, but through the proclamation of the Word of
God. If we love Gods 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 Goghs death. Many writers today may
be overlooked by the world but be encouraged that anything done in Christs name will be
remembered in heaven. Matthew 10:42 says, And whosoever shall give to drink unto one
of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you,
he shall in no wise lose his reward. Whenever we cross a T or dot an I to elevate Gods
name, we are storing treasures in heaven. What pleasure could be greater than to hear
Well done from the One Who matters most?

Randy Saller and his wife Amy Jo homeschool their three children in Lake Villa, Illinois.
Randy is a learning disabilities specialist for a public school and a freelance writer. He has
written for Turtle magazine, The Old Schoolhouse

Magazine, and Chicago Special Parent.


For more information about the author, you may contact him via email at
rsaller1@yahoo.com or visit his website at www.randysaller.com.

Endnote:
1. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas
Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2014, used with permission. All rights reserved by author. Originally appeared in
the Annual Print 2014 issue of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, the family education
magazine. Read the magazine free at www.TOSMagazine.com or read it on the go and
download the free apps at www.TOSApps.com to read the magazine on your mobile devices.