When I first started to write, I wrote from my heart. I blindly thought everyone would find what I wrote interesting and pile on the accolades. I was sorely disappointed. Later, I discovered that writing from the heart is okay, but my writing lacked focus, tone, style and organization. As soon as I incorporated these things into my writing, it made for a better read -- and the accolades soon came.
However, I don't write to impress others or have a goal to win any awards. But I do welcome feedback and, yes, I have been awarded. As a Christian writer, though, I write to communicate the foundational truths of the Gospel -- no matter what form these truths are communicated, i.e., book, article, poem, song, etc. To accomplish this worthy goal, I feel there are three things all Christian writers must do.
Christian writers must encourage believers to keep the faith -- to remain steadfast through good times and bad. Paul says in 2 Timothy 4:7, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." But what does "keeping the faith" exactly mean? Paul answers this in Colossians 1:23, "If you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven." Also, Hebrews 3:14 says, "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end." Hope fuels the flames of faith and gives those who feel defeated a reason to persevere.
Christian writers must inspire believers to act upon God's Word -- even when faced with a seemingly impossible situation. Second Corinthians 4:8 says, "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair." Jesus said in Luke 18:27, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." And, Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." Inspiring others to be courageous is contagious . . . and a catalyst for spreading a wildfire of success.
Christian writers must instruct believers on how to walk in truth -- because the enemy seeks to deceive and to destroy. First Peter 5:8 says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour." David says in Psalm 86:11, "Teach me your way, O Lord and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name." Psalm 26:3 says, "For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth." Finally, Jesus says in John 8:32, "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Truth dispels darkness, sets captives free and shines light upon troubled souls -- filling them with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Now, there are times when I write just to entertain or to share something personal. But when I address believers on a particular topic or offer a solution to one of life's many dilemmas, I must include one or more of the above. If I don't, then, truly, my writing is in vain.
Bob Valleau has over 30 years of writing experience for the Christian market. He was once named Christian Writer of the Year (San Antonio, Texas) by the American Christian Writers Association. He is the author of four books.
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