Words have an impact on people. Why do you think the Bible repeatedly warns against using the tongue to bring people down?
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. ~~~James 3:7-8
The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. ~~~Proverbs 8:21
Whether we like it or not, words are important. They are so important, in fact, that the Bible mentions the “tongue” a lot. Writers are important because writers know how to use words.
We need more Christian writers, because, like it or not, people are affected by the stories they read. Stories help shape who we are. Why do you think Jesus uses parables to make a point? Because stories are more effective than just telling people what’s right and what’s wrong. People remember stories better than a list of rules or a list of facts.
Jesus was a great story-teller. Think of the stories Jesus told. Yes, they all have a point they’re making. But just put that aside for one moment and consider the stories Jesus told. They are all great stories. Take, for example, the story of the Prodigal Son.
1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So he told them this parable:
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons; 12 and the younger of them said to his father, `Father, give me the share of property that falls to me.’ And he divided his living between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took his journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in loose living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want. 15 So he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the swine ate; and no one gave him anything. 17 But when he came to himself he said, `How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”‘ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was yet at a distance, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, `Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, `Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet; 23 and bring the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and make merry; 24 for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to make merry.
25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what this meant. 27 And he said to him, `Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has received him safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, `Lo, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command; yet you never gave me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’ 31 And he said to him, `Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'”
What a beautiful story! I know I want to write stories like that.
What do you remember when you go to listen to someone speak? Sure, maybe you remember what the speaker was trying to get across in his speech. But what usually sticks with me the most after listening to a speaker or a sermon at Church is the stories the speaker uses to make his point or as an analogy.
Christian writers can and will have an impact on people through writing. The stories don’t even have to be true; fiction is just as effective as (maybe even more effective than) non-fiction in getting ideas across. The stories we Christian writers write don’t have to be sermons. In fact, non-sermon stories are usually more effective. But the Christian morals that we convey in our novels DO affect people–-whether they like it or not. If you’re writing to glorify the Lord, the light of Jesus WILL shine through in your writing, and you WILL have an impact on other people through your writing.
Not every Christian is called to go over seas and be a missionary. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that some people aren’t called to do that. However, God has placed you where you are for a reason, and He has given you gifts and talents, which He wants you to use to advance the Kingdom of Heaven. Writing for Him is a calling. Follow your calling.