Friday, July 10, 2020

Bible Verses to Transform Your Writing Career

by Joshua J. Master @JoshuaJMasters

The life of a Christian author should be rooted in faith. Scripture is God’s love letter to us, directing our path and drawing us closer to Him. It’s “God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” (2 Timothy 3:16b NIV). So, we should also expect the Bible to transform how we approach our writing careers.

Here are just five examples of how we can apply Scripture to our profession.


You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. (Proverbs 19:21 NLT)

Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. (James 4:13-14 NLT)

Let’s start with the hardest one first. The greatest challenge for a Christian writer is our definition of success, that subtle line between our calling and our career. It’s important to set goals, improve our craft, and develop a career plan. But we also recognize in faith that the plan is a direction, not an outcome.

As this startling passage from James reminds us, we don’t know or control the future. So, if we’re only focused on a particular outcome, our careers will often discourage us. The pathway to publication rarely follows the same steps you’ve outlined in your mind.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t seek God in setting goals, but it means surrendering our obsession with the outcome so we can more clearly focus on the steps God is revealing in the moment. 


Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. (Colossians 3:23 NLT)

“Think about your audience.” That’s important advice when you’re a writer. You’ll hear it at every writing conference or online workshop you attend.

A vital section of a book proposal is identifying our target markets, where we research and write a detailed analysis of our primary, secondary, and even tertiary audiences. That’s about marketing, but when we it comes to transforming our work ethic, the people purchasing our books should always be a secondary audience.

Like many authors, I sometimes struggle with devoting enough time and energy to writing in the busyness of ministry and work. That’s usually a sign that I’m writing for the wrong primary audience.

When we take the inspiration of our first verse (Psalm 45:1) and combine it with a desire to work for God rather than ourselves or someone else (Colossians 3:23), it changes the way we approach our work.


Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. (Proverbs 19:20 NLT)

Have you ever left a critique group completely deflated? It would feel great if we got a glowing review every time someone critiqued or edited our work—but it would be also be a colossal waste of opportunity. 

Yes, we want to feel encouraged. But we’re given a community to help us grow—both spiritually and in the craft of writing. So, whether we’re working with a critique group, a professional editor, or taking classes, a desire to learn can transform our attitude toward editing.

Receiving instruction and advice from others, as this verse teaches us, brings wisdom. It doesn’t just improve our writing; it can improve us as individuals when we have the right attitude.

A heart for learning and growth can transform the negative feelings we can develop when editing our work or seeking those to help us in that task. 


Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. (Galatians 6:4-5 NLT)

While we’re transforming our heart for editing and the critique process with Proverbs 19:20, we can also remove an enormous burden from our writing career by eliminating comparisons.

God has prepared you for a specific calling with specific outcomes. And those outcomes are to bring glory to His kingdom. We diminish that and dishonor God’s purpose for our writing when we constantly chase someone else’s. 

As we discussed above, God gives us a community to encourage us and help us grow. But we belittle what God wants to do in and through us in that community when we taint it with envy. 

When we focus on what God is doing in our own writing, it allows us to learn from and contribute to the writing community He’s given us more freely.


Beautiful words stir my heart. I will recite a lovely poem about the king, for my tongue is like the pen of a skillful poet.(Psalm 45:1 NLT)

This has been one of the most inspiring verses for me as I write sermons or author books. It reminds me that my purpose is greater than my weekly deadline.

Since Moses, God has used the written word as His vehicle to speak truth into a broken world. If you’re called to be a Christian writer, your responsibility in recording the heart of God can feel overwhelming. 

But when we focus on our purpose rather than our goals, it can refocus our writing and our relationship with God. Our ultimate purpose is not to sell books or sign contracts (although that’s a wonderful outcome), it’s glorifying our king with the words He’s placed on our hearts. The difficulty is separating the words He’s given us from the words we want to interject. 

Yes, we will have editors and input from others. We will have rewrites and frustrations, but when we focus on the simple purpose of this verse, it will transform our hearts as we write.


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. Wonderful reminders. Thanks so much for the encouragement sir.

  2. You packed a lot of great info in here. Thanks, Josh!

  3. So very encouraging and inspiring! Thank you, Josh!

  4. Wonderful scriptures to write by! I bookmarked this page.

    Here's a proverb I have hanging over my desk:
    "Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established."

    Thank you!

  5. Excellent message Joshua. Thank you.

  6. Great truths for all of us. I often have to remind myself of God' view of success and be sure that's the success I'm aiming for.

  7. So much wisdom from so many verses. Thank you Joshua

  8. So grateful I didn't miss this post Joshua. The Scriptures cited are powerful and your challenge is inspiring. Just what I need as I continue to write today. Thank you.