Writing so that . . .

I’m currently participating in an online Bible study from Proverbs 31 Ministries. We are studying Scripture using Wendy Blight’s book, Living So That. She explains:

“. . . our lives should not be self-centered and static; rather, they should be others-centered and active, making a difference for the kingdom of God.”

“The authors of Scripture . . . intentionally chose to use these two words to connect a truth of Scripture to a practical application of that truth. They used them to bring truth alive and make it relevant and applicable to our everyday lives.”

This month we’ve been encouraged to think about what we want our writing to make happen inside our readers. This is one of those questions where there is no right or wrong answer. Each of us as writers is unique with particular giftings from God.

  • Some are “prophets” – called to point out and correct error
  • Some are “teachers” – called to help others understand God’s truth
  • Some are “helpers” – called to come alongside others
  • Some are called to hospitality – called to make others feel comfortable

And the list goes on (See I Corinthians 12).

As I thought about my writing and how I want it to affect my readers, I realized that no matter what type of writing I’m doing, whether memoir, fiction, devotional, creative non-fiction, etc., I want my writing to evoke emotion. Readers become engaged when their emotions are involved.

I also want my writing to effect change in the reader. This change could be as simple as giving the reader a good chuckle or as complicated as shifting the reader’s world view. When I write, I want to be intentional, not haphazard. Mary DeMuth sums it up well:

“I’m on this world to write words that change people.”

I am writing, so that my readers are engaged and moved to change. These are lofty goals, but I remind myself that I’m employed by the King of Kings and empowered by the Holy Spirit. I dare not aim for anything less than the best.

What do you want your writing to do?

 

NOTE: This was first posted on the InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship blog www.inscribewritersonline.blogspot.com


When – Then: Allowing God to fill our wells

This week in our online Bible study of A Confident Heart by Renee Swope, we are on chapter three, “Finding Love that Won’t Fail Even When I Do”. I highlighted many sections throughout the chapter, but the following quote sums up the chapter for me.

“Our schedules are full, our minds are full, our stomachs are full, our refrigerators are full, our closets are full, our lives are full. Yet we find ourselves with so many empty places. Why? Because the wells of our hearts were created to be filled by God alone. . . By recognizing and replacing our emptiness with the fulness of God’s promises, we drink the gift of living water. We  acknowledge our need, which allows Him to pour His truth into the well of our hearts.”

At the end of the chapter there are questions to help us think through the ideas presented during the chapter. Question 7 says:

“We were made for love that isn’t measured by our last accomplishment but marked by God’s measureless grace (pg. 62). Write a few when-then statements for areas of your life where you can apply this truth.”

ImageHere are my “when-then” statements:

1. When I am tempted to measure my value by how well I am doing as a mother, I will stop. Then, I will thank God that He always sees me as precious and valuable.

2. When I am tempted to fill my emptiness by eating, I will stop. Then, I will celebrate God’s presence and thank Him for his sufficiency to meet all my needs.

3. When I am tempted to look to my husband to meet all my needs, I will stop. Then, I will rejoice that God loves me with a perfect love and He is sufficient for all my needs.

4. When I am tempted to satisfy my needs by being overly busy, I will stop. Then, I will seek God’s wisdom and guidance in my life and trust Him to provide for my needs.

As I read through this chapter, I was reminded of how we get tricked into thinking so many other things will meet our needs, and we switch from relying on God to relying on other things. It’s good to try to be the best mother possible, but I will fail. My husband is a wonderful person, but he is only human and will never satisfy all my desires. Food is necessary for life, but eating doesn’t satisfy emotional needs. Work provides income and a measure of satisfaction, but work was never meant to fill the God-sized hole in my heart.

Renee reminds us:

“A confident heart is found in a woman who knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that she is loved no matter what. Lasting security comes when we bring the empty well of our hearts to Jesus and ask Him to fill and fulfill us with the security of His unfailing love.”

She also says:

“Salvation is a one-time decision, but finding satisfaction in Christ and living in the security of His promises is a daily process.”

I don’t know about you, but I need these reminders. I am saved, and I have found satisfaction in Christ, but I often get derailed in my walk with Him. Today I am choosing to live in the security of God’s promises. Tomorrow, and the next day and each day after that, I will need to “recalibrate” and choose again.

Are you choosing to find satisfaction in Christ so that you can live in the security of His promises?