Paul challenges us in his first surviving letter to the church at Corinth to “do everything for God’s glory” (1 Cor. 10:31). This familiar admonition certainly would apply to the writing done by passionate Christians with a love for the Lord and a love for writing. But what should the parameters be for a Christian writer? Is anything “off limits?” What are appropriate topics for Christian writers to address? Well, if Paul’s exhortation is to shed any light on this question, we would respond that the answer is simple… EVERYTHING!
It’s On The Menu
In the immediate context of this well-known verse, Paul is talking about the freedom he has as a Christian to eat anything he wishes to eat. The relevant issue at hand was whether Believers should eat meats sold in the market that had been previously offered to an idol. Paul’s essential response can be found in verse 25 of chapter 10… “Eat everything that is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’s sake.”
In these few short words, Paul pulled back the curtains, raised the blinds, pointed out at the world and said, “See that? It’s all yours!” And in so doing, Paul set you free as a writer to write on any topic you choose.
As a Christian artist (and writers ARE artists), what you’ll also find wonderfully compelling and comforting is that Paul’s rationale for such a liberating statement is grounded in the Lord’s creative work… “for the earth is the Lord’s, and all that is in it” (v. 26). For a Jew living in Paul’s time (even most Christian Jews), the menu of foods acceptable to God was somewhat restricted. Now Paul is saying all foods are acceptable. If you enjoyed food, nothing could be more liberating. There is no food beyond the scope of God’s menu because there is no food beyond the scope of God’s creation. If He created it, you can eat it!
If you are a Christian writer, the news is equally liberating. There is nothing beyond the scope of your pen because there is nothing beyond the scope of God’s creation. If He created it, you can write about it. This is an important principle we affirm at Seven Interactive. If you have a topic about which you want to write, then write!
As is always the case in God’s economy, what we perceive as something that limits is, in fact, something that frees us. There are only two qualifications or parameters we can draw based on Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. First, we are to write (or eat, or do anything else) for the benefit of others. This is clear… “No one should seek his own good, but the good of the other person” (v. 24). This is, simply put, the principle of love that Jesus affirmed as the “new commandment” (John 13:34).
The second parameter is that we are to write “for God’s glory” (v. 31), thus reflecting the title of this article… “For God’s Sake, Write!” If your motivations for writing are not driven by a desire to honor Him in that writing, then something is wrong.
The beauty of this is that these “parameters” are, in fact, liberating. Self-centered writing is, invariably and by definition, only about me and my limited world. When we write for ourselves, we drop the blinds, close the curtains, dim the lights, stare at the barren walls of our narcissistic lives and wonder why the creativity doesn’t seems to flow. How tragic is that?
On the other hand, when our hearts are fixed on “the profit of many” (v.33) and the glory of God, we discover “everything is permissible” (v. 23). So, pull back the curtains, raise the blinds, spend some time gazing on the beauty of God’s world and the infinite reaches of His universe. Pick a star and write about that. Choose a remote trail and write about that. Find a fascinating city and write about that. Identify an intriguing relationship and write about that. The opportunities are boundless and the things about which you can write as a Christian are truly infinite.
It’s a beautiful and boundless world. You’re a writer. For God’s sake, write!