September 10, 2018

The Writing/Faith Connection by Sharon Espeseth

In the Image of Our Creator

In the beginning was the Word

"Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, according to our likeness." If any of us should forget we are made in God's image, we can read Genesis 1:26a*.

As for the gift of writing in particular, consider this: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

Over the years, God called many to be writers of his Word. He chose people from all walks of life--shepherds, prophets, poets, kings, fishermen, a tentmaker, a doctor, a tax collector. . . Given the calling and the direction of God, they became writers. God is still calling writers to write for him.

If you doubt that you've got what it takes, Julia Cameron in her book The Artist's Way will help
convince you that you do.

I ask myself, Why do I write? 

1. To create clarity. 

I don't have to look far in my journals to find myself sorting out a problem, concern, or situation. I state the situation, do my whining and worrying, try to figure things out, and then, hopefully, turn my concerns over to the Lord. Looking back in my journals, I see that I could save time by talking to God sooner.

Morning Pages often become prayers
Beginning last June, I tried Cameron's Morning Pages, where you write down what's going on in your head when you first wake up. I was on a roll until I hit a period of sleep disruption. After a poor night's sleep, I couldn't bounce out of bed in time to get those quiet, solo moments for writing.

What happens when I don't write these things down? As you may guess, I carry them with me through the day. Writing reduces worry and grows my faith. When writing regularly, I am reminded to "Cast all (my) anxiety on him, for he cares for (me)." (1 Peter 5:7) As I write, my thoughts turn from worry to words of prayer.

2. To understand my gifts. 

If I ignore my gift of writing, I will not learn more about it. If I'm not practicing my faith, that too grows weaker. Did you know that the Holy Spirit can help us understand our gift of writing? "Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God." (1 Corinthians 2:12) To get the full context of this verse, read 1 Corinthians 2:10b-16.

Although Paul was a prolific writer himself, he doesn't list writing as one of the charismatic gifts. I believe it would fall under "teaching."  I find it interesting that Paul kept his day job of tent making. He also wrote in prison. (Remember: "Bring the scrolls, especially the parchments.") He wrote letters to the churches that have a strong bearing on what it means to be a Christ-follower and a member of the Church.

3. To share my faith.

"One generations shall laud your (God's) works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts." (Psalm 145:4) In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, "You are the light of the world. . . "No one
after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all in the house." Then Christ admonishes us to let our lights shine before others--in our lives and in our writing. The two activities are complimentary and necessary.

4. To praise and thank God.

This verse I'm quoting in KJV, because it's hard to write it without singing it. "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever: with my mouth (and my pen) will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations." (Psalm 89:1)

Faith-Writing Connection: When I spend time writing, reading God's word, reading other good books, taking time to walk, listen to music, sing, socialize with friends, treat myself well in general, I feel more alive. When I get the work/life balance going better, creativity seems more available to me. That is, I believe, when my writing about faith comes out better too.

* All Bible verses, except this last one, are quoted  from the New Revised Standard Version.


  1. These are all excellent reasons indeed!

  2. Good practice of writing down worries/frets/concerns and leaving them with God on the page. Not ignoring, just storing in a safe place. Thanks, Sharon.


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