Six Great Bible Verses for the Christian Writer's Consideration
The world is the writer's target.
There are good online writers who write about Christianity and Christian themes; they are not necessarily Christians. They are good writers because they adhere to the guidelines of grammar, spelling and online writing rules.
Then, there are good Christians who want to share their faith with a universal, online audience; they are not necessarily good writers. They have the responsibility to improve.
Christian writers, like all other writers, aim for wide readership. The last thing they should want to do is appear careless to people who need the information and inspiration they aim to present.
Here are six of the many Bible verses which require Christian writers, like all other Christians, to perform with the diligence that is expected of godly people.
(1) Be Teachable
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning (Proverbs 9:9).
- How to Create Valuable Online Content
Help from HubPages on how to be an effective online writer.
As is characteristic of parallelism in Hebrew poetry, “wise” and “just” refer to the same quality in the individual.
The verse teaches that willingness to learn a skill does not diminish the wisdom, or justness—or spiritual stature already attained. In fact, those who embrace learning are “rewarded with larger measures of wisdom, because they are simple, humble, and willing to learn, having that childlike spirit which Christ commends.”1
Christian writers need to know the rules of grammar and spelling; numerous mistakes on our part reflect badly on our craft and on the reputation of Christian writers as a group. Professionalism adds value to our work. We become more effective as writers and more credible as Christian writers.
(2) Be Relevant
A word spoken [written] in due season, how good it is! (Proverbs 15:23 )
Readers want more than a paraphrase of the Bible passage. They want a message presented in relevant language and with relevant illustrations.
Readers want a relevant message to which they can relate.
Readers want the Bible passage explained or the Bible story presented so clearly that they respond:
- “This is exactly what my spirit needs.”
- “This never made sense to me until now.”
- “Now that I understand it, I want to read the text again.”
To provide this kind of satisfaction, the writer may have to research the original context, then compare with and apply to contemporary conditions. Take the principle off the Bible page and bring it home to the reader--not by lofty, pulpit preaching but in simple, practical steps.
(3) Be Sensitive
A harsh word stirs up anger (Proverbs 15: 1).
Christian writers aim to inspire and persuade, not to provoke. Be sensitive to the fact that immature and immoral people often need guidance more than judgment.
People steeped in habits of wrong-doing usually get angry when confronted or humiliated. Write titles which attract them, content which validates them and share suggestions which offer help. They will be inclined to read more from a writer who dispenses compassion and understanding. Why offend them in one caustic article and lose them forever?
While Jesus called His listeners names and pronounced woes, He claimed to be sinless. Apparently, sinners do not have the authority to damn fellow sinners.
(4) Be Supportive
As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend (Proverbs 27:17).
Top Christian Writing Sites
- FaithWriters.com-The home for the Christian writer!
Helping Christian writers manage their writing career. Featuring writing jobs, challenges, contests, christian poems and freelance writing plus writers forum community.
ChristianWriters.com offers an open and friendly community, resources, and tools for Christian authors.
Writers in online and offline communities thrive on support from each other; and support is a Christian duty. Some Christian writers refuse to read articles which express opinions different from theirs, but they want to be read by people who disagree with them. That is unreasonable.
Christians have the right to be selective in whom they read, but it would be ludicrous to read only writers with similar views. The Pulpit Commentary interprets the verse above as stating that interaction with peers “influences the . . . character of a man, sharpens his wits."2
One of the best ways to improve writing skills is to read writers who excel at the craft. Many of them are not Christians. Still, support their work and learn from them.
(5) Be Trustworthy
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out (Proverbs 10:9 NIV).
No Christian writer wants to be accused of stealing. “An act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own”3 is plagiarism. Observe copyright laws. Give credit to the author of a quotation or idea that is “borrowed.”
Sometimes, writing from one’s heart may resemble the writing from another heart. That is different from copying or pasting a portion of another person's work into your own. Wikimedia requires that an author receives credit if a phrase of more than three words is copied.4
Pictures are also subject to copyright laws. Take the time to find pictures that have been released to the public domain. Mention the source and include the URL link.
Copyright infringement is punishable by fines and even jail time. Even if the writer escapes punishment, he may not escape loss of trust from his readers. Walk (write) in integrity!
(6) Be Humble
A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor (Proverbs 29:23).
What Do You Think?
Which of these descriptions adds the most to the effectiveness of the Christian writer?
Writers have the prerogative to promote themselves; also, personal testimonies of achievements can help to empower others. Therefore, this is not an attempt to minimize the individuality of the writer; just a reminder to filter personal stories through relevance and humility.
There are other factors beside personal achievements on which readers make their evaluation:
- Diligence of the writer
- Relevance and usefulness of content
- Responses (or lack of) to reader’s comments
- Ssupport for other writers
Remember also that the ultimate aim of the Christian writer is to focus attention on God, the Giver of all good gifts, including the gift of writing.
Encouraging Bonus Verses
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men (Colossians 3:23).
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms (1 Peter 4:10 NIV).
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Galatians 6:9).
Bible Quotes are from the New King James Version unless stated otherwise.
© August 2014 by Dora Isaac Weithers. Click on MORE for other articles by MsDora.