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Why do you write? Your answer determines all the rest. Most of us might respond that we don’t even know how we feel or think about a matter until we’ve written our way around and through it. That would be true of most writers. But that’s not what I’m asking.
Why do you feel that writing is your mission? Why are you pursuing the serious writing life? What is your purpose in writing for the public eye? Is writing your calling?
Think about that a moment, for writing is one of the most challenging, underpaid, “white-collar” occupations around. Is it worth it? Your reason must be significant because this job will cost you. You may not even break even.
We share a unique calling, we who gather here. We take our writing seriously, for we write in a world that ingests words twenty-four hours a day. Our words constantly pour out upon gadgets, phones, tablets, and computers all over the world. This is where God has placed us in history. We were born for such a time as this.
Why do we write? Because the Lord has called us to write for him.
We seek to promote his ways and his words. We long to reveal his story, his work, and his transformation of human lives. We proclaim his praise and herald his character and goodness.
The book of Ecclesiastes ends with advice that looks back on a life, admonition to remember our Creator in our youth, before the days of trouble come when our eyes, our ears, our brains, and our bodies will wear out. Then, we may not be able to write the words that proclaim God’s truth. Then, our eyesight may fail, and our ability to record his words to uplift others may dim.
If God has called you to write, I urge you to seize each day now as a gift from God and to write with all your might, whether you make any money or not. This is our ministry. Do not lose heart! Use your gift to the best of your ability to proclaim our Savior’s character, love, grace, and salvation to others. This is our only opportunity.
The words recorded within the pages of Scripture and exposited to us in sermons and teaching – these words goad us onward, impelling us to write, inspiring us to pen words that tell stories unveiling our Savior.
Lest we veer a little too far this way or that, we write with precision, guarding our words with care, preventing them from adding beyond what God has said. God’s words are nailed down. We must not deviate into false teaching.
Our task is exhausting. We often wonder how we can keep going.
The conclusion, the motivator, is the knowledge that we will one day stand before God and give a verbal account for our words. We answer to him now and will answer to him in the future for how we use the gift and the calling he has given us. Will we press on when the money is low, the body is weary, and the discouragement is high?
I say, “Be certain of your calling, and then, dear writer, press on!”
May we heed these words of wisdom, written by one who made many mistakes along the way:
“The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails-given by one shepherd. Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:11-14 NIV).