Regarding the tongue, the apostle James said that, “with it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.” (James 3:8) As Christians it is our duty to use our words to not promote and defend evil, but to exhort others and to glorify God. Writing is a powerful tool to achieve this. It can be used to persuade hearts, open doors, influence individuals, stand for truth, and communicate zeal. It can be used to build up or destroy. I love writing not only because of the power of speech and its ability to impact others, but because it provides me with an outlet to glorify God with my words.
I haven’t always been a writer. As a young child, I’ve always had difficulty expressing my thoughts into words (my mom considers it a miracle that I can even composed coherent sentences today). At the age of 12 I had to write a one and a half page speech for my coming of age Bar-Mitzvah. Let’s just say: I wrote a rough draft. It stunk. I went through multiple revisions and a lot of counsel (i.e “no that doesn’t make sense – do it this way”) from my mom but eventually I was able to turn out a heartfelt message on both my spiritual experience and the Christian’s walk with God. If I were to read the speech now, I would probably cringe (my standards are much higher now); but it was a start.
Time progressed, and today I am very thankful for where God has led me with my writing. My first experience with writing can be traced to my obsession with a popular Christian site called therebelution.com, where I happened to find an ardent atheist on the comment section seeking to troll teenagers from ages 13-16; and not knowing any better, ended up getting into a full-fledged debate. I was very inexperienced and didn’t know what I was talking about, but it was there that my desire to be able to defend the truth and communicate my faith really began. I commented many more times on that website and eventually developed my ability to speak clearly and insightfully about both apologetics and theology. Another person on the site acknowledged this and invited me to help administrate his blog. Soon thereafter I started contributing by writing articles and help moderate the discussion. Looking back now, I would definitely say that experience gave me a taste of what it’s like being an avid writer and using my skills for something purposeful.
Another thing that significantly helped my writing were co-op classes. Every week I had to write a summary of a topic (even things like science, ugh), and have my peers critique me (nicely). It was a a good learning experience, and writing repeatedly soon became more of a joy than it was a bore. However, as I rose to the higher levels, I had to write long biographies (about scientists, ugh), which even though stretched my research and creative abilities, I became a better writer because of it. Before I ended up leaving the co-op, I had written so many papers and essays that I honestly couldn’t even keep count. My biggest paper was on global warming (SCIENCE AGAIN UGH), and being way over my head, I somehow thought it would be fun to take a 10 page assignment and make the finished project 20 pages long (I can be overly ambitious). It was the most stressful writing week of my life and I lost a lot of sleep; but the paper was good. Regardless, my grade was marked down because I turned the paper in late.
Which brings me to my weaknesses. I have a really bad habit of overextending myself writing wise and turning things in late (for instance I’ve written a 5-page essay (not double-spaced) in one night before class, don’t ask me how I survived the next day…). God has been teaching me to manage my time better and I’ve been learning on how to limit the scope of what I want to do for my assignments. For me it comes down to precision of words and essay structure – being able to say what I want to say in the most effective manner possible. I want the words I say to be impactful but yet at the same time not vague and redundant. It’s a struggle, but a journey worth taking.
Nonetheless, regardless of the struggles I can wholeheartedly say, I love writing. I believe God has given me this gift to communicate to others His love, truth, mercy, and justice. I desire to proclaim his Gospel through everything I say and show others the love of Christ. Words can either build up or destroy. I wish to build. Glorifying God in life is all that matters. I hope that at the end of the day that’s what I can show.