Today is the “National Day on Writing,” according to the calendar of unusual and little known national holidays.
Their web site says, “This day is actually an initiative of the National Council of Teachers of English — built on the premise that writing is critical to literacy but needs greater attention and celebration.”
Writers are encouraged today to share their reasons for writing around the theme of #WhyIWrite. Apparently, this title is taken from George Orwell’s 1946 essay, “Why I Write.”
One statement on their site really resonated with me. “(Writing) gives voice to who you are and enables you to give voice to the things that matter to you.”
Since writing has been an integral aspect of my ministry for 50+ years, this challenge forced me to get inside myself and think about why I write.
#1 I write to inform.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,” lamented the prophet Hosea. The word “knowledge” or “know” is found over 1,000 times in the Bible. Without Bible knowledge, our understanding of who God is, what His will is for us, and how we can serve and please Him would be impossible.
#2 I write to inspire.
Preaching and teaching, both oral and written ought to do more than reinforce our beliefs, or impart knowledge, but incite us to action and motivate us to better behavior.
#3 I write to encourage.
“Encourage one another” exhorts the inspired writer. There is much in the world today that is discouraging, disheartening, and depressing. As a result, this dismal attitude may pervade our thinking, and cause us to lose heart. Encouragement is a way to pour courage into the heart of another. To jumpstart their spiritually drained batteries. And to offer hope for a brighter tomorrow.
#4 I write to edify.
“Edify one another” Paul penned. Edification builds up. It’s the opposite of the destructive forces both within God’s Family and in the world without. Godly edification is based on God’s written word. It strengthens, supports,
and sustains us spiritually. It’s a positive upward cycle that helps us grow both individually and collectively.
There are specific attitudes and actions that edify. Love edifies. Mutual respect edifies. Peaceful interactions edify. Cooperative efforts edify. And when saints are equipped for ministry the church is edified. To that end we address as many edifying topics as possible.
#5 I write to ennoble.
Much of our discourse in the public arena is undignified. Uncouth. And uncivilized. In fact, it’s downright rude, crude, and crass. Our goal is to rise above writing and speech that is unseemly and elevate our thinking. Exalt righteousness. And magnify God and goodness.
#6 I write to warn.
Like road signs on the highway that alert us to potential pitfalls and dangers, so God’s Word, and current writing, warns us against immorality, indifference, and inaction, as well as many other of Satan’s sinful schemes to sidetrack us from heaven’s highway.
#7 I write to remind.
Like Peter’s epistle, we often write to reinforce what we already know. Reminders are beneficial. They keep us from slipping. Becoming lax. Or getting distracted. And failing to do what we know we ought to do.
#8 I write to comfort.
James P. Miller once advised to younger preachers to preach to the suffering, because every assembly has folks who’re suffering. More recently someone opined that every pew has hurting people. Our writing seeks to “comfort the fainthearted.”
#9 I write to challenge.
We can do better. All of us. Complacency is a tool of the devil to impede progress. Retard growth. And stifle incentive. The New Testament letters are often written to arouse Christians to action. To stimulate us to love and good works. And to call for greater goals and deeper commitment.
Our reasons for writing can be summarized by Paul’s purpose. “I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim.3:15).
By the way, the reasons why I write, are the same reasons you ought to read. Not just blogs like ThePreachersWord, but more importantly the Word of God.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman