By Elizabeth Prata
I’m a writer. It’s not my profession, though I’ve tried. I can’t live off my writing. I write on the side. I have a job I love, that not-coincidentally affords me time to ponder, percolate, and write. I’ve kept a blog every day for 10+ years, and another personal blog on and off for 13 years.
I’m not introspective. Being on the Autism Spectrum, I am not adept at looking internally and understanding what I feel or why I feel it. I have never written in a journal or a diary. I don’t even journal my thoughts about my Bible reading after I became a Christian.
Rather, I chronicle.
Before I learned I was on the Spectrum, I’d obsessively chronicle everything that happens, looking for reasons as to why things happen. I’d hope that a pattern would emerge, so I could understand the cycle of life here on earth. I looked for meaning to it all.
I didn’t find it.
Being a journalist, I’d investigate, interview, and again, chronicle events so that the readers would know what was happening in their town. They’d learn who the people were and what they did the things that were going on, so then, maybe they would learn the meaning of it all, and in turn tell me.
It didn’t happen.
After I was saved by faith in Christ, I understood the meaning of life. So writing didn’t have to perform that function for me any more. But I still needed to process the world by writing. I’d become so used to chronicling everything, and writing down questions to be followed up on later, I transferred that habit to my blogging. I’ve written 4,788 essays. This one when I hit the publish button will be the 4,789th. That’s a lot of words.
Social media in many of its forms offer an opportunity to extol the virtues of Christ and to exhort others (and by immediate extension, myself) to holy living. I can and do warn, encourage, think, promote Him, and explore verses. It’s great. I mean, it’s great for me, I hope for others, too.
Now comes this essay by Andreas Kostenberger called “Reflections on Writing: Why Write?”
It’s so good!
“Writing can be a strategic stewardship.”
Kostenberger continues with talking about passionate persuasion, making a contribution, etc. It’s aimed at seminarians and those who plan to pursue a writing career, or at least, plan to author a book or contribute to the scholarly canon. But I thought it was a good article and food for thought for any blogger.
I try to say something that adds to the general Christian discussion, edifies women, and doesn’t hinder or confuse. The Lord gives talents and abilities as well as the Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts. I have written since I was a child, making lists, notes, observations, snippets of lyrics or poems that struck my fancy- and I’ve continued to this day at age 58.
Putting that God-given ability to use for His glory, shepherding it and using it for His purposes is very sweet. Any talent or ability that God has endowed you with can and should be turned into a stewardship that strategically promotes His good name. Carpentry, music, maths, speaking, decision-making, researching, graphics, foreign language…any talent can be used for Him. Keep doing it, see where it leads you, organically.
When I was young, there were no blogs. But I wrote for the school newsletter. When I was a young adult there were no blogs, no self-publishing platforms, but I wrote for academia. When I was an older adult, there were no blogs, but I wrote for a newspaper. The Lord was propelling me toward that vertex where suddenly I’d be saved AND there would be a self-publishing platform on which to write about Him. And so it was.
Why write? To proclaim Christ. Why employ any talent one possesses? To proclaim Christ.