February 24, 2012

Biblical Learning Informs Writing - Dorothy Bentley

One of the things I love to do is learn. And one of the things I love to study is the Bible. The opportunity to do serious study and earn a Bachelor of Ministry degree presented itself last year. My church is partnering with a Bible college.

I grappled with the decision. Would studying for this degree pull me away from my passion to write for the Lord? Would I have the time needed to study, attend class, write the necessary papers, and continue pursuing a writing career? I wasn't sure, but the pull to draw closer to the Lord by studying His Word was irresistible. I jumped in with both feet.

 The pastors teach and we students submit our papers to them for feedback. Once a course is finished, we submit significant projects to an online portfolio. There is quite a lot of writing involved, and having almost weekly feedback on papers has been surprisingly valuable. Any sort of writing feedback is valuable. Feeling like a polished professional is akin to having pride, which, as we all know, leads to a fall. And since I am working on a degree to serve God, there is so much more involved than simply studying the Bible and writing papers. My character is also scrutinized (somewhat painfully at times), and I need to always be humble and correctable.

Those character qualities are so valuable for me as a writer. Whenever I submit work to an editor, I need to humbly accept correction and submit to my work being honed for the publication.

I am thankful for this great opportunity to be part of in-church Bible college. As a Christian writer, whether I am writing for the general market or a Christian audience, my heart attitude needs to be godly, and my reasons for writing need to stay in line with God's purposes. In addition, what I write is so important. I do not want to lead others astray.

One of the greatest benefits, however, is how the content of the programme informs my writing. As I read ancient writings and become immersed in Biblical culture, I am inspired to write various forms with a new richness.

With the Lord's help, we can all write to please Him and build His kingdom on earth.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Colossians 3:23

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