Monday, January 3, 2022

5 Biblical Resolutions for Writers

By Kristen Hogrefe Parnell @khogrefeparnell

Happy New Year, fellow writers! This time of year, people tend to set resolutions, though many of them have a self-centered focus. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be healthier and to reach goals, but we can sometimes miss the big picture. Today, let’s take a biblical perspective that I hope will encourage you in your calling as a writer.

Biblical Resolutions for Writers
#1: Resolve to offer your writing as a sacrifice.
Romans 12:1 says that we are to offer ourselves as a “living sacrifice” to God (NKJV), so why shouldn’t we offer our writing to Him as well? Writing is a stewardship God has entrusted to us, so giving it back to Him as a sacrifice makes sense.

Here’s the thing about sacrifices. We don’t get to decide what happens to them. We simply offer them. 

In theory, this truth seems simple, but in practice, the sacrifice can be harder. We want to see our writing accepted. We want to see our books published. We want our book to be a best seller.

However, when we offer our writing back to God, we relinquish control of what happens with it. Sure, we should do our best work. But when we genuinely tell God, “Okay, what happens next is up to you. I give you my writing, no strings attached,” we trust the outcome to Him. 

#2: Resolve to be content and not compare.
I know. I know. This one is hard for us writers. It’s impossible not to see the updates on social media, announcing book deals, agent partnerships, and award-winning books. If you’re like me, I’m truly happy for these authors. But then comparison rears its ugly head, and I disparage myself and my own success. Zena Dell Lowe has started a series on this topic, and it’s worth your time to go back and read her post, How Writers Can Overcome Performance Based Value

Scripture warns us against comparison and says that those who compare themselves with others “are not wise” (2 Corinthians 10:12 NKJV). The Bible also charges us to be content. “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (Hebrews 13:5 NKJV).

That verse gives us the reason to be content: Whether we are wildly successful by any metric, we can rest in the assurance of God’s presence. He remains with us through success and failure. 

#3: Resolve to do your best, whatever that looks like.
As a teacher, I might surprise some of my students with the news I don’t expect straight A’s from all of them. I like B’s and even an occasional C as long as the student has done his best work at the time. 

As a writer, I forget that this principle applies to me too. The Bible doesn’t say, “Whatever you do, do it perfectly.” Instead, it says, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24 NKJV).

Heartily has the idea of giving your all with gusto! Whatever God chooses to do with that writing is up to Him. Be encouraged that the Lord has a track record of using imperfect vessels in unexpected and amazing ways.

#4: Resolve to want God’s approval more than other people’s.
I know some authors who don’t read reviews on their books, which is helpful to keep their focus where it needs to be. Those of us who are impossibly curious tend to peek at reviews anyway.

The key for us Christian writers is to remember who we are writing for. We’re writing to please God and to reach a specific audience. Naturally, we need to accept constructive feedback from our agent, editors, and beta readers. They have our best interests at heart and can strengthen our stories. Our readers’ opinions matter too, but we must be careful with both their praise and criticism. Praise can puff us up, and criticism can kill our spirit. When shifting through the noise, we ultimately need to ask, like the Apostle Paul, did, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?” (Galatians 1:10a ESV).

#5: Resolve to wait graciously for open doors.
From my experience, waiting makes poison ivy look friendly. 

Why God makes us wait is something we may not understand, but we can rest assured He is sovereign and His timing is perfect. As Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us, “For everything there is a season” (ESV).

Instead of growing resentful while waiting for God to open doors of opportunity, let’s remember why God makes us wait. I absolutely love this promise from Isaiah 30:18: “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him” (ESV).

Did you catch that? God doesn’t wait to frustrate us. He waits to bless us. As my pastor once shared, God doesn’t care about time, but He does care about timing. Though we may not understand, we can trust His schedule is much better than our own.

Which of the above resolutions might you adopt this year?


Kristen Hogrefe Parnell writes suspenseful fiction from a faith perspective for teens and adults. Her own suspense story involved waiting on God into her thirties to meet her husband, and she desires to keep embracing God’s plan for her life when it’s not what she expects. She also teaches English online and is an inspirational speaker for schools, churches, and podcasts. Her young adult dystopian novels, The Revisionary and The Reactionary, both won the Selah for speculative fiction, and her first romantic suspense novel with Mountain Brook Ink releases December 2022. Kristen and her husband live in Florida and enjoy sharing their lake home with family and friends. Connect with her at


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, DiAnn. Blessings to you in the new year!

  2. Excellent post, Kristen, and so beautifully written. Your posts are always inspiring and enjoyable to read.

    1. Thanks for your kind comment, Crystal. I'm so glad this post encouraged you!

  3. Great post, Kristen. All of these resolutions are being added to my list.

    1. Thank you, Kay! I know I'll have to remind myself of them throughout the year. Blessings to you!

  4. What a great message! I need to read this over and over every day. :-)

    1. Thanks, Melissa! I'm right there with you and need the reminders myself. :)

  5. I love this message. It is greatly needed to keep us on the right track. Blessings and Happy New Year!

    1. I'm so glad this message resonated with you. Blessings to you in the new year as well!

  6. This is spot on! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I need to be reminded sometimes who I'm really doing this for and why I'm doing it.