Writing to Glorify God

by Richard Mansel, managing editor
writingpaper2.jpgGod calls us to spread the gospel to the world (Mark 16:15). As long as the message is not compromised, the style of communication resides with the imagination and technologies of man.
The written word has stirred hearts for thousands of years. Nations rise and fall on the power of words. They open hearts or shatter them forever. Souls move into the light or run to darkness through the power of ink on canvas.
How do we move people for good with our humble thoughts? What methods will stir the passions of men and bring them closer to God? If we will produce impactful words that lead readers to salvation, we must consider these four concepts.
Unleash the Power. We must open our minds to the potency of language. Seeking the right word requires that we are familiar with the language. The storehouses of our mind brim with resources, because we have planted and harvested.
A writer who will not read is a writer who will not be read. If we will not fill our plate, we cannot eat.
The tool of language will be ineffective, if it is dulled by lack of use. Learn new words and their meanings and allow them to become partners in your art.
Become a voracious and judicious reader. Become a student of quality writers. Study their craft and emulate, as necessary. Seek out advice on growing as a penman. No one is born a masterful writer or artist. It requires knowledge, study, sweat and blood. Do the work because souls are worth the price we pay.
Weigh the Words. Experienced writers know that great articles are not in the writing, but in the editing. Jumbled thoughts take people nowhere, but to confusion. Razor sharp words keep the attention of their readers.
Spend more time editing than writing. Painstakingly examine every word. Be ruthless and pare the piece down until it is tight and seamless. Ensure that the reader remains in the article. Polish the pacing and rhythm so the reader is carried along with the stream of ideas.
Wrestle the Barriers. All readers bring a set of defenses to a Biblical article, ready to protect their sins and weaknesses. We must be wiser than their schemes.
A skilled writer will study the human mind and patterns of behavior, so they can penetrate the walls we all place around ourselves. Our words must go under their defenses, so the word of God will hit the mark and hearts can be changed.
Challenge the Reader. Paul calls us to speak the “truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). However, we must be penetrating and address sin, without attacking the person. We are trying to turn them toward God, not to kill and mount them on our wall.
Know the Book and the most incisive ways to soften the hardest hearts. Utilize the Word of God to pierce the souls of men (Acts 2:37). We seek salvation above everything else.
To produce meaningful writing, we must create portable images. Write visually and the reader will enter the story. Use illustrations and images that convey the meaning and they will spring to life in vivid colors. Jesus used parables and we follow his lead in producing moving pictures for the reader.
Will we write an article or the article? Will we seek to make a difference or meet a deadline? Souls matter more than cold bylines.
God’s mission deserves our best. Open the Word to the world and show the Savior to the people. The responsibility is daunting but the rewards are golden.

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

4 thoughts on “Writing to Glorify God

  1. Hi Richard
    One could say that good writing is in the heart. The trick is to get the heart into the pen.
    As you know, reading good fiction is a great help in developing writing expertise. Shelby Foote would reward himself by reading, and he was a master storyteller. Foote’s favorite author was Marcel Proust. He read Proust’s seven part master work six or seven times, noting each reading in the inside cover of one of the volumes. Foote said he would reread to see how Proust got from here to where he was going. I think that is a key, not to read for the story, but to consciously try and see how the author is developing his story, his characters, and how he is using the words.
    An issue I have with the word thing sometimes is deciding if a word I want to use is in my potential reader’s vocabulary. Will they know what I am saying, or think I am just trying to show off? That can be a hard one sometimes. “The influence of the Bible on our culture is ubiquitous,” or “The influence of the Bible is everywhere.” Ubiquitous hits harder than everywhere, but will they know the word?
    Of course Faulkner would opt for “ubiquitous” and wouldn’t care if I knew his word or not. But, I am no Faulkner.

  2. Well stated and well written, brother! Just like preaching, writing is best done from the overflow. We must fill our minds with the word and with the message if we are to communicate a needed message.

  3. Thank you for the good advice. I had started a blog a year ago, but have not shared it yet. The concept of “more editing than writing” has become apparent to me as I go back over the entries and see how the progression of thought flows, or in some cases, doesn’t.
    There is much work to be done before I start to release my “baby” into the world. Will this be an ongoing forum to help budding writers such as myself?

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