April 29, 2014

Writing so that . . . by Ruth L. Snyder

I'm currently participating in an online Bible study from Proverbs 31 Ministries. We are studying Scripture using Wendy Blight's book, Living So That. She explains:
". . . our lives should not be self-centered and static; rather, they should be others-centered and active, making a difference for the kingdom of God."
"The authors of Scripture . . . intentionally chose to use these two words to connect a truth of Scripture to a practical application of that truth. They used them to bring truth alive and make it relevant and applicable to our everyday lives."
This month we've been encouraged to think about what we want our writing to make happen inside our readers. This is one of those questions where there is no right or wrong answer. Each of us as writers is unique with particular giftings from God.
  • Some are "prophets" - called to point out and correct error
  • Some are "teachers" - called to help others understand God's truth
  • Some are "helpers" - called to come alongside others
  • Some are called to hospitality - called to make others feel comfortable 
And the list goes on (See I Corinthians 12).

As I thought about my writing and how I want it to affect my readers, I realized that no matter what type of writing I'm doing, whether memoir, fiction, devotional, creative non-fiction, etc., I want my writing to evoke emotion. Readers become engaged when their emotions are involved.

I also want my writing to effect change in the reader. This change could be as simple as giving the reader a good chuckle or as complicated as shifting the reader's world view. When I write, I want to be intentional, not haphazard. Mary DeMuth sums it up well:
"I'm on this world to write words that change people."
I am writing, so that my readers are engaged and moved to change. These are lofty goals, but I remind myself that I'm employed by the King of Kings and empowered by the Holy Spirit. I dare not aim for anything less than the best. 

What do you want your writing to do?

For more information about Ruth L. Snyder and her writing, visit http://ruthlsnyder.com


  1. I like the connection you are making about what kind of writer each of us is called to be. I'd never thought of it quite that way. I'll have to reread ! Corinthians 1 again with that writing in mind. Thanks.


  2. Ruth I appreciate your comment below!

    "I remind myself that I'm employed by the King of Kings and empowered by the Holy Spirit. I dare not aim for anything less than the best."
    How motivating is that! Awesome.

  3. Sharon,
    Sometimes we forget that we come at our writing from different angles. Let me know if you see anything else that jumps out at you when you reread the passage.

    That thought struck a chord with me too. How amazing that God not only calls us to write, but also enables us to do what He asks and then works in us and through us!

    Thanks for your encouragement, ladies :)

  4. Yes, Ruth. Good thoughts. I think it is particularly important that we narrow down what we want our readers to take away from our words, and as you shared 1 Corinthians 12, I realized that we are not required by God to cover all the bases. That is His job. Ours is to heed His calling and write for Him. He will make our words spring forth and benefit one or thousands. That takes a lot of pressure off!

  5. Glynis,
    You're so right. It's our job to be obedient and His job to "make our words spring forth and benefit one or thousands." It really does take the pressure off. We can enjoy being who God made us to be :)

  6. What a unique and wonderful perspective on 1 Cor. 12. Thanks for sharing that. I'm excited to re-think that chapter from a writer's perspective.

  7. Connie,
    I'm glad I gave you something to think about :) Let me know what you come up with.

  8. Terilyn writer6:57 am GMT-7

    Thank you for sharing this . It is encouraging to know God uses all of us to touch people's hearts in our own style.

  9. Terilyn,
    You're very welcome. I think we put ourselves under a lot of pressure when we try to be like other people. God created us and understand what will make us thrive. It's very freeing to just be who God made us to be and leave the results with Him.


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