“He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God” (1 Corinthians 4:5b NIV).
The writer’s path is often lonely and rarely financially abundant. To make a living as a writer, we must learn to market ourselves and build a platform. We must decide what type of publication we will pursue. These decisions take us into uncomfortable worlds we never imagined when we put pen to paper.
So why write? As with all writers, my reasons are inter-layered and overlapping. I write because this is my calling and my gifting. It drives and overtakes me. When I came to Christ as a young teen, one of the first changes that occurred was inspiration for me to write to encourage others. And that is the point.
God gives all gifts for use in the body, to uplift, motivate, help, and encourage others.
Yesterday at my church:
- The bible study material I write was used in my husband’s Sunday School class. Using his gifts of discernment, he guided a discussion that encouraged the group. Other Sunday School teachers were using their gifts in similar fashion.
- Then our pastor, who is gifted in teaching, explained the scriptures in a way that uplifted us all and resulted in praise poured out by our singing congregation.
- This was possible because of the technical crew, who are gifted in running lighting and audio equipment so we can receive the message, and the musicians, who are gifted in producing melodic sounds to accompany our praise.
- Afterward, a godly woman and her team served a hearty meal to the homeless, a ministry she has carried on for over a decade. Early in her life, a time of poverty imprinted upon her a heart of compassion for people in like circumstances.
- Later that evening, the congregation ate a delicious meal prepared by tireless behind-the-scenes women gifted in serving and culinary skills. They did all the work. The body ate and fellowshipped. All were encouraged as a result.
- Then burly men with servants’ hearts leapt into action, tearing down tables, hauling heavy loads, putting everything away to prepare for the coming Wednesday night ministries, where people gifted with love for youth will lead them in AWANA.
- And so it goes throughout the week.
This is how the body works. We are all to use our gifts for the good of others.
Sometimes, as we’re serving, we can feel unseen and unappreciated. We are not.
How do we know it is worth it? The astounding truth is that when we stand before God, all will be brought to light as our words, actions, and motives are examined. We tend to think of this with shuddering, because we know how wicked our hearts are, but we forget that our godly motives and actions will also be reviewed. We will hear “Well done, good and faithful servant!” when we have devoted our gifts to the Lord.
As a writer, that encourages me greatly. Writing is done behind the scenes. Rarely is anyone cognizant of the hours that went into any given publication. I write full-time. My husband supports me, so I can. Writers don’t usually get rich. But that is not the point, nor is that why I write.
I write to give glory to God, to use the gifts he has given me, and to encourage others who have been wounded or are struggling. God sees my husband’s generosity, and God sees my heart overflowing onto paper. I write for him. Writing is my act of praise, love, and adoration of the One who redeemed me.
One day we will see his face and will marvel at him, the One who is able to use flawed, human tools like us for eternal good. As all of us praise him, he will praise us, a tumult of glory and honor poured out “on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed” (2 Thessalonians 1:10a NIV).
How are you using the gifts he has given you for the body’s good and the Lord’s glory?
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