Monday, June 16, 2008
Thoroughly Equipped to Write
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17
"Every good work." Yes, even your writing. Especially your writing.
When we think about being equipped as a writer several obvious things come to mind: having the necessary tools and research materials, learning and improving our craft, and so much more. Though as Christian writers, the one thing that will equip us the most is God's Word. The Bible is not only a wealth of knowledge, but it connects us, provides for us, and inspires a deeper faith in our Lord and Saviour. It is the fabric of who we are as persons and as writers has a profound influence on our writing. The more we nurture our relationship with God, through prayer and the study of his Word, the more our experiences and thoughts will be impacted with his Truth. And the better equipped we will be as writers.
We've all heard, "Write what you know." In non-fiction, it is not advisable to offer medical advice if you are not a medical expert. In fiction, well, if we must "know" everything then I ask, "what is imagination for?" But to know is to be intimately acquainted with something. Be it fiction or non-fiction, one who knows grief or loss or redemption can certainly write about it. And please do. The overflow of your own relationship with the Lord and your own unique experiences can bless others through the sharing of your words.
As master storyteller George MacDonald said, "A true imagination is beholding a truth of God." Even in fiction one can impart spiritual truths. It is essential that we convey these truths clearly as we pen our words. Yet, it is not necessary to preach, rambling on with great discourse. The story itself can reveal God's intervention in the plot, a character's growth, and insights for the reader.
In essence, the story is a sermon, but without "sermonizing". Christian romance writer and author of Writing the Christian Romance Gail Gaymer Martin puts it this way, "We are to show that despite our flaws, fears, weaknesses, doubts, and sins, God loves us and keeps His promises. If we weave this into our story just as these same elements are woven into a Christian's daily life, then an author will not be preachy but will just create a lovely tapestry that will make an impact and be remembered."
The Biblical principles that are shared will be interwoven throughout the pages of our work. And what is our work? Well, that is worth considering.
To Consider . . .
Do you have a motto, a mission statement, that conveys your purpose in writing? Mine is "Sharing the truth of God's redemptive love." I've seen many others on Christian writer's websites. I challenge you to pray about this and set it before you in a prominent place.
What do you know? Are there any major themes in your own faith journey that equip you to write on certain subjects? What are they?
What are you doing to nurture your relationship with the Lord today?