May 17, 2013

WHY I PREFER TO WRITE by Bryan Norford

After a teaching session during a pastorate several years ago, an enthusiastic member asked, “Well, where is the Spirit in all this?” He assumed a message without a liberal sprinkling of references to the Holy Spirit—especially in a Pentecostal church—was not authentic.

Of course, the evident answer was, “Well, the Holy Spirit wrote the Word we’ve been discussing.” But I was not quick witted enough to call it up on my feet. Like many people, I can rarely think of the obvious riposte until some time later.

Really, thinking on your feet can be quite dangerous: how many politicians and others have been pilloried for an off-message off-the-cuff remark? Which explains why I find writing a more congenial way of expression.

Writing gives me time to think about not only what to say, but more importantly, how to say it. Taking time to find the right words is critical to ensuring I transmit correctly what I intended—realizing, of course, I have no control over what my readers “hear.”

But, alas, it still does not come out right. However hard I try. my words still fail to convey exactly what I meant. Words themselves are often inadequate, and mood can too easily and quietly insert itself into the text.

The problem is compounded when trying to pass on my faith, because it carries a higher priority. That’s where God’s provision of the Holy Spirit is essential, not only to inspire the writer, but also to enlighten the reader. After all, that’s the biblical pattern.

If, like me, you’ve felt a piece of writing is never finished—improvement is always possible—the consolation of the Spirit, the Author and Finisher of our lives, gives me assurance at some point that my writing can be released.

Unlike the Bible, our writing is not universal, but Spirit directed work will always find its audience, however few or many that may be. Our work in the Lord is never in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58).


  1. Good word, Bryan! I assume you don't have access to Twitter, which has been the downfall of many who've been tempted to write their thoughts prior to inner censoring ;-)

  2. Hi Bryan. Thanks for your excellent message. The last sentence is particularly helpful to me.

    "Unlike the Bible, our writing is not universal, but Spirit directed work will always find its audience, however few or many that may be."

    I've learned that spoken words are like software. Sometimes they are not compatible with the hardware receiving them. Spirit directed written work finds its way to the intended reader, as you've said.


  3. I've been known to get in a bit of trouble with the written word, though, too. What I thought was eloquent at the time, can come back to haunt you, perhaps even more than the spoken word because its there FOREVER...

  4. Thanks, Bryan for reminding us to seek guidance from the Spirit when we write. You've made some excellent points. I like what you say about seeking "the consolation of the Spirit, the Author and Finisher or our lives," who will give us the confidence to release our writing. Well said, well written.

  5. Good thought Tracy. Thanks for the insight!


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