November 21, 2012

Using words

Serving on the executive of a writers’ organization took time that might have otherwise been used for writing. When my term was finally over, I began praying about that freed-up time. What did God want me to do with it? One evening He gave me His answer. 

I knew it was God and not my own idea because up until then, I thought a blog was a silly rant by a frustrated teenager. However, God clearly impressed me that He wanted my spiritual journal to be published online, every day, for the world to read in blog format. I posted the first entry the next day, January 16, 2006, as an act of obedience.

For me, writing is an important way to express what God is teaching me. I remember it better, but also make myself accountable to obey it by sharing it with others. For others, writing may have different motivations. This morning’s devotional reading points me to John’s explanation of why he wrote the book of Revelation. While I am not in the same category as an author, we do have something in common; God also told him to write what he saw and send it out…

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” (Revelation 1:10–11)

Today’s devotional reading says that the same voice comes to all Christians. He asks, “Are there not those who would taste the joys of Heaven if we wrote them words of forgiveness and affection? Are there not others who would dry their tears if we would remind them of past joys…?”

This makes me think of occasions when I’ve written a letter and the response has been, “You are the only person who sends me mail” or “Your letter was a great encouragement to me.” 

With email, Twitter, Facebook, and texting, writing a personal letter to anyone is a rare thing. In fact, any form of personal communication happens less and less. A recent quote supposedly from Einstein says, “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” 

The next frame shows a group of people sitting at a table. Each one has their head down texting on their cell phone.

Even though today’s devotional asks what are we doing with our pens and are we adding joy to the lives of others with our writing, any of our modern methods of communication could do the same thing. My Facebook posts could be a delight to others, not mere yak. My emails can be a blessing too, if I take time to think about what I’m typing.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)

God told John to write what he saw in a book. He told me to write what He is teaching me in a blog. Today, He reminds me that when I write or say anything, it should be to lift up others and joyfully point them to the Author of life who also expressed Himself with words.

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