Friday, March 13, 2020

5 Ways to Honor God in Your Writing

by Joshua J. Masters @JoshuaJMasters

As a Christian writer, our first goal shouldn’t be a publishing contract or word count. Those are both important, but our priority should be to glorify God and draw closer to Him in our writing.

Here are five ways to honor God in our writing careers:

1. Prioritize Prayer

It’s so easy for me to get caught up in the tasks and deadlines of writing. But when those things become a greater focus than my relationship with Christ, my productivity goes down. Worse still, I focus on what I want to say rather than what God wants to say through me. 

We’ll never be able to represent the light of Christ if we’ve locked ourselves away from that light in our writing closet.

The time we spend writing is vital. It requires consistency and passion. But we must first have consistency and passion in our time with God if we want our writing to bear fruit.

Martin Luther was known to spend at least two hours a day in prayer. But on the eve of a busy day, Luther once said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”

The more time we give to the Lord, the more He’ll bless the work He’s given us to do.

2. Seek Wisdom, Not Proof

There are many Christian writers (and if we’re honest, pastors) who search the Scriptures for Bible verses that support what they want to say rather than seeking what the Bible says and then deciding what to write.

We honor God by seeking His wisdom before we ever place our fingers on a keyboard. As we address biblical themes in our writing, we need to make sure we align our understanding of that topic with God’s before deciding a direction for our piece.

Have you ever struggled with forgiveness? That’s the kind of thing that prompts an engaging blog post, isn’t it? The problem is, our post is often more firmly rooted in our emotions than what Scripture says.

Before writing about forgiveness, we should remove our experience from the equation. Don’t worry, you can add it back in later. But set it aside long enough for an in-depth study of what Scripture says about forgiveness. Seek God’s perspective before you let your emotions taint the writing.

Once we really understand God’s perspective, we’re in a much better position to relay our experience in the light of God’s truth. 

3. Context, Context, Context 

If you write nonfiction, you probably go beyond using biblical themes and quote the Bible. John 1:1 tells us that Jesus is the word of God made flesh. So if we’re going to honor Him, we must honor Scripture. That means using His word in its full context.

Before using a verse in your work, explore the passages and chapters surrounding that verse, asking God to reveal its full meaning. How does it fit into the context of the entire book and Scripture as a whole?

Representing God’s word in our writing takes time and study beyond a Google search for keywords. 

Many well-meaning writers have misled an entire generation on the meaning of popular Bible passages. The most obvious example is the common misuse of Philippians 4:13.

Can we do all things through Christ who gives us strength? Absolutely, but despite how it’s been portrayed in many books, the full context of this verse isn’t about the strength to achieve a goal. The passage is about finding contentment even in the face of failure. It’s a far more powerful verse than we give it credit for. It’s a promise that we can endure anything, not accomplish anything.

We can still glean strength and hope from these verses, but we honor God by understanding the full context of His word and representing it accurately.

4. Tithe Your Gift

Maybe it doesn’t have to be exactly 10% of the words we write, but imagine how much it would honor God and draw us closer to Him if we were intentional about giving a portion of our writing time back to Him every day. 

Learn to sacrifice a portion of your writing to something that doesn’t advance your own career. If we’re grateful for the gift He’s given us, we should want to give some of it back to Him.
Write a private, daily prayer to God.
Silently ask God what He wants to reveal to you. Then write what you sense He’s saying to you each day.
Keep a gratitude journal.
Write letters of encouragement to a missionary.
Write anonymous notes of encouragement to others.
Write private prayers of intercession for others.

5. Write to an Audience of One

On the business side of writing, we need to consider our target audience.

And our secondary audience.
And our tertiary audience.
And I don’t think fourthiary is a word, but we probably need to consider that audience too.

But when we’re alone at our keyboard, our target audience should be God alone.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV).

When we focus on honoring God in preparing to write, how we write, and what we write, He will guide us to a deeper relationship with Him and use our writing to do the same for others.

How do you honor God in your writing?


Joshua J. Masters is a pastor, author, and speaker. He’s been featured on CBN Television, HIS Radio, and the Light Radio Network. Josh is the author of American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot and is a contributing author for Feed Your Soul,  Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and One Christian Voice. Josh has also worked as an actor and crew member in the film industry (SAG/AFTRA) and continues to have a passion for film. He lives with his wife, Gina, and Franklin the Pup outside Greenville, South Carolina where he serves as a speaking and care pastor.

Josh would love to connect with you on his website, or engage with you on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Goodreads.


  1. Oh how I love #2 above Pastor Joshua. "Seek wisdom, no proof!" Amen! We must never attempt to use God's word to support our point, but we must always use our words to support God's truths. Thank you so much for bringing this thought to life sir. I created an "audience collage" that I place on my desktop background when I'm writing. Centered, larger than the other photos of my target audience, is a likeness of Christ. He's the person we need to write for; to bring Him the glory. God's blessings.

    1. I love the idea of creating an audience collage to stay focused in our writing. And I really love having Christ at the center of it. That's a great idea. May we all seek to see what God says before we decide what we will say.

  2. Great blog. #4 - interesting.... something to think about. Thanks. :)

  3. Amen. What a needed message today and everyday! Thank you Joshua! :-)

    1. Thank you, Melissa. May the Lord remind us of these things each day.

  4. This is great, Josh! I follow all of those steps in my writing. For almost nine years, I've been blogging content to encourage others to know the Lord better and to have a deep and abiding relationship with him through both hardship and times of blessing. I write for him. Meeting with him in his Word and then writing about what he has shown me there has been an incredible way to encourage others.

    1. Amen, Melinda. That's great to hear. Isn't it amazing that God allows us to convey His encouraging words to others? Thanks for your kind words, and keep moving forward with the good work you're doing.