To engage with this post, click here for Seriously Write.
We live in tumultuous times, and we write for the God of the universe. Will we write for Jesus, declaring His message of reconciliation in our stories and blogs, or will angry political and social discourse derail our mission?
This past political season was one of the most vitriolic ever seen. Now we have a new president, and the social upheaval continues and may have worsened.
What would God have us write? How do we stay true to our calling?
Today I urge each of us to consider how our words affect our readers. To be true to our convictions, to follow the Lord’s urging, and to bring Scripture into the social discussion, we may have written about the moral implications of this campaign. Others of us may have written for or against a candidate based upon these positions.
Pause to consider: As you wrote, did you sin in word or deed? Did you write what God led you to write, or did you write what your own emotion and opinions pushed you to say? Did you engage in name calling, demeaning others, lecturing, or condescension as you supported your position? Or were your words gracious? Did you soften them with kindness, compassion, and an awareness of the equally thoughtful position of those who held a different view?
We are emotional. We are writers. The entire country went mad in October and November. If you aren’t sure if you erred, scroll back through your social media and blog history and look at your words. Try to be objective. Ask someone you trust for his or her input, if necessary.
Now is the time to mend fences, if fences need mending. Now is the time to repent of our error, either one way or another. Now is the time to affirm to the Lord that we will write His words, come what may, and that we will write them in His way, not our own.
That is my encouragement to you today, that you write with a clear conscience. A world in turmoil needs writers of pure heart.
In this post-election period, our words as Christian writers have the power to bring peace, to open eyes to understand the viewpoints of the other side, and to promote the unity of the body of Christ. Praying over our words and their timing is critically important.
But how can we hear the Lord’s leading, if we have bruised consciences that linger from that awful time of political argument? Can we say with Paul, “Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God’s grace” (1 Corinthians 1:12 NIV).
Please, pause to consider and to take action, as the Lord leads. If the niggling of a troubled conscience picks at your tranquility, I encourage you to set matters straight and make amends, perhaps even publishing an apology.
In these trying times, we are the prophets. “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10b NIV). We need to write Biblical truth, no matter how convicting. We need to put aside our desire to keep from rocking the boat, if the boat does indeed need to be rocked. We need to write with grace. We need to speak and write a message of repentance and of turning back to the Lord, but in a gracious and humble way.
No president or governmental system can save us, but Jesus can. He is the Messiah.
Let us examine our consciences and then gird our loins, fellow writers. The keyboard is still mightier than the sword, and gracious words are the most powerful of all. They offer healing and inspire our readers toward reconciliation. Let’s write God’s words.