Why I Write

But beyond these, my son, be warned: there is no end to the making of many books (Eccl. 12:12 HCSB).

If Solomon were parenting today he might have said it this way, “There is no end to the making of many books, articles, blog posts, tweets . . .” (you get
the idea).

Because of Jesus, we have victory over enemies big and small. One of the weapons He has asked us to wield is our story.

The steady drip of written content Solomon noticed in his era has been replaced with a flood in ours. With so many words already circling the stratosphere,
I often stare down this question: “Why should I keep writing? What’s the point of adding my words to the deluge of content created by other writers?” But
day after day, year after year, I sit at my keyboard and write. Here are four reasons why.

1. There’s Power in My Story.

Revelation 12:11 describes the moment all of history longs for, when Satan is thrown down and God’s people are victorious. Pay attention to how we will
overcome:

They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.

Because of Jesus, we have victory over enemies big and small. One of the weapons He has asked us to wield is our story.

Think about the testimony of Jim Elliot who sacrificed his life to share Jesus
with a remote Indian tribe in Ecuador.

Think about Naghmeh Abedini who used her story to tell 100 ambassadors at the United Nations that Jesus is
the solution their countries are looking for.

Think about Louis Zampereni, the former Olympic runner and WWII prisoner of war, who overcame
alcoholism, night terrors, and a failing marriage after a collision with the gospel.

I don’t count myself in the same league as the heros on that list, but I do have a story to tell about God’s grace and provision in my life, so I write
about what God has done.

Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe (Ps. 107:2 NIV).

2. Writing Takes Me “to the End of the Earth.”

Jesus said, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15).

Acts 1:8 promises, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and
Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

When it comes to ministry, God asks us to think globally. Yes, I need to use my gifts to serve my local church. I am called to love the people in my
zipcode. Writing is not a substitute for either of those things, but I add it to the ways I am investing in the kingdom close to home because it allows me
to expand my reach.

Just this week I heard from a woman who reads my blog posts in Canada and another who is teaching one of my Bible studies in South Africa. As a momma of
three on a farm in Missouri, I could never disciple someone in Canada or teach a Bible study in Africa, but God graciously allows me to have influence in
those regions through writing. He sends me to the nations from my desk in the Midwest. That mind-blowing truth keeps me writing.

3. I Write as a Record for the Next Generation.

In the wake of my grandfather’s recent death, we have spent hours combing through his belongings. Though I know my grandpa had a deep faith in Jesus and
experienced His work in his life, he didn’t write it down. We are left guessing about the details of his Christian walk. I don’t want my children to say
the same thing about me.

Long after I’m buried, I want people to know that Jesus rescued me, that He constantly provided for me, that He kept His promises to me.

Long after I’m buried, I want people to know that Jesus rescued me, that He constantly provided for me, that He kept His promises to me. I want there to be
an overwhelming body of evidence for His work in my life for my children and grandchildren.

We all have a responsibility to pass the torch of faith to the next generation. Writing is part of how I do that.

He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children (Ps. 78:5–6).

4. My Gifts Are Meant for the Kingdom.

The honest truth is, I can’t not write. Words burn in my heart until I feel I might burst if I don’t get them on a page (or screen). I often feel like a
fish who lives on land, and when I write it’s like I get to swim in the fishbowl for a while. I know this is because God has uniquely gifted me to write.
Like all gifts from Him, I want to surrender writing for the benefit of God’s kingdom.

As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace (1 Peter 4:10).

It is my deep desire to use my words to encourage, equip, challenge, or teach others to follow God and His Word more closely.

Living for Jesus vs. Writing About Jesus

I take my role as a writer seriously. There are certainly plenty of landmines buried in a writing career, primarily that I will become more concerned about
writing about Jesus than living for Jesus. When that happens, I pull back and stop writing for a while.

Because of Jesus, you have a story worth telling.

The word of my testimony isn’t very powerful if I’m not actually doing the things I write about. There is also a temptation to use writing to shine a
spotlight on myself instead of on Jesus or to see writing as my only ministry outlet when God clearly asks me to love others in ways more tangible than
words on a computer screen (Matt. 25:35–40).

Because of these temptations, I have accountability in place to make sure I am actually living what I write. Certainly I make mistakes, but that’s a part
of my story, too.

Because of Jesus, you have a story worth telling. Maybe you will sing it in song or whisper it into your baby’s ear or write it in a book. Whatever your
gifts, find a way to tell about what God has done. “Let the redeemed of the Lord, tell their story!”

In fact, I’d love to hear your story today.

Why do you do what you do for the Lord?
What story do you have to tell?
How are you using your gifts to build God’s kingdom?


PS: If you’re wondering how to write, needing tools to keep writing, or want a reminder why what you write matters, join me at Revive ’15. I’ll be with
Lore Ferguson Wilbert and Jennifer Lyell in a pre-conference track on writing titled “Writing to Touch Hearts.”

 

See you there!

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to read “Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ Advice to Young Writers and Speakers.”

 

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