Spiritual discipline can be done in any form. There is no complete list of it but often we think it was only limited to self-denial by fasting, solitude, silence, practicing sabbath, worshipping, service, praying and bible reading.
Who thinks that writing can be a spiritual discipline? Besides, not everyone is gifted with written communication. If our words possessed the power to make a difference or tear someone down, I think written words have more impact than anything else.
Because written words will remain forever even its creator was gone already. The Bible, for example, was written by different authors and have been translated into different languages, though the authors have died of persecution already or some of the old age, the words they wrote was still here. In fact, Bible has been the number 1 best-selling book of all time.
Today people communicate differently, work differently, and play differently. Yet many Christians failed to recognize this fundamental change.
I’ve heard countless oppositions from people of the same faith, failed to recognize that an entrepreneur can marry God’s word into his business. But with all what is happening in the blogging world, where everyone was posting their highly opinionated thoughts, satirical news, edgy articles, I even see books getting sold-out more on entertainment, gossips, and books written by some celebrities who doesn’t have anything valuable you can read with it.
With this culture, can we really marry God into the world of writing and still impact people through it? Can we really make writing a spiritual discipline?
The answer is: Yes
The Gospel message has not changed since 2000+ years ago, but the way people receive and process messages have changed.
Here are the reasons why:
1. Writing is a form of worship.
When we worship, our focus instantly shifts towards God. Music instantly shifts our focus to God. When we see beautiful places, we instantly in awe of how God created the earth.
The same when I am writing, my perspective shifts. I may stare at a blank word document for a few minutes but when I start to write, my focus instantly shifts to my inner world. My inner world is full of inspiration and it makes me forget everything that contributes to my stress caused by external factors.
My daily writing habit brings me to an adventure and gives me hope where everyone failed to see.
2. Writing is creating.
Jose Marti once said: “Mankind is composed of two sorts of men — those who love and create, and those who hate and destroy.”
Writing is creating. Whenever I write, I feel creative even though I can’t draw. God created the world with his vast array of imagination. Of course, we as humans don’t have the power to create things through our voice, but we are known for creating by first imagining it, then recording it — by writing.
After devotion is also an opportunity to create a piece of art. I write what God has told me each day in a journal.
When I write, I create words, then words become sentences that form an entire paragraph. Until that paragraph forms a page, until it becomes a book.
When Apostle Paul was writing the epistles in prison, he was creating a part of the Bible we have today.
3. Writing is missional.
We write every day. We create messages, reply to emails.
I mentioned earlier how many Christians, opposed adopting technology in sharing the gospel. They think it was not effective. But when Bobby Gruenewald, the founder of Youversion, the famous Bible website before it turned to become a mobile app, he changed how people think of technology.
In my article Coding For Jesus, I shared how people from different churches collaborate how to intensify ministering to different people with different culture with the help of technology.
When I write, I can be missional too. I have a lot of friends and former classmates surprised me when I saw them being converted to Christianity and I don’t share the gospel with them personally. One classmate just shared to me that he constantly see what I post on Facebook.
There are few people also whom I don’t know leaving a message how they were inspired of what I have shared with them leading them to attend a church.
Oh! did you know that I have been saved and eventually converted also in a non-traditional way? I was encouraged to attend a church when I sought for more knowledge about God, then I stumbled upon the blog of one pastor in the church I am attending. You can check his blog here.
When the disciples wrote what is in the Bible they know that they have the mission to use it as an instrument to change the world and until now it continues to change the lives of many people.
4. Writing is serving.
Whenever I write, I have the opportunity to serve different kinds of people since I publish what I wrote online. When everything goes online, the chances are many people from different nations will be able to read it.
I serve when I write down my source of pain, and how God is trying to redeem me from it. I serve when someone was able to relate to my experiences.
And believe it or not, you can write even you are not a writer.
At the end of the day, I want my Master to say: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 22:23)