Writing for Christ's Glory
Words by Ann Swindell
For those of us who are word lovers, who enjoy the feeling of pens in our hands and keys clacking under our fingertips, writing often feels like second nature, like coming home. We love the ways that words help us make sense of our lives and help us encounter God.
This, I believe, is a good and holy thing.
After all, God spoke the universe into existence with a word. The first five verses of the book of John remind us of the beautiful and timeless declaration that Jesus is, himself, the Word—and so we see that who God is and how he is are bound up in the power of words.
To be those who love and use words is a high and sacred calling—and not one that we can take lightly. This is because words hold great power; they name us, shape us, and ultimately point us (and our readers) to the Truth of Christ or to lies and death.
But how do we seek to be women who are writing for Christ’s glory? While there’s no one definitive answer, my own journey as a writer has shown me several ways that we can focus our hearts and our words on Jesus in this work of writing.
First, I believe that writing for Christ’s glory means that we lay down our right to renown. In the world’s eyes, a writer garners praise for her byline, for her status, for her fame. But to write in the Kingdom may mean something else entirely. It means that our heart’s aim is not to secure our own fame, but the fame of our King. If we have opportunities to write that further his Kingdom and his work in the world, then we can pursue those without concern for our own name.
Secondly, we write as women who lead our readers to Truth. To be a writer focused on Christ’s glory means that at the heart of our work is a commitment to truth-telling: all of our words should point others to him. This does not mean that we only write sermons; far from it. We may write stories and poems and plays and essays, with everything that we write blossoming from the truth of Christ—his ways, his rule, his love. When we write from a desire to point our readers to the only One who satisfies, our work will resonate with truth.
Finally, I believe that writing for Christ’s glory means that we pursue our calling as writers with joy and tenacity. If the Lord has made us to write—if our hearts come alive in that place—then we should seek to become the best writers that we can be. This does not mean shirking our other callings and responsibilities as wives, mothers, employees, or church members—not at all. But it does mean seeking to learn how to handle the power of words with grace and beauty so that we can excellently point others to him.
These marks on screens and pages, these syllables that bounce out of our mouths and bubble up from our hearts, they matter. They matter deeply. Let us be those who use them to right the wrongs that we can, to love the hearts that need binding up, and to speak to ourselves—and to others—the Truth that came through the Word himself, Jesus.
Ann Swindell is an author, speaker, and the instructor of Writing with Grace, a live, online, six-week writing course for women who want to grow in their writing craft, voice, and ability. Registration is open now until March 15th at: writingwithgrace.com.