May 16, 2011

Writing talent and spiritual gifts

You probably weren’t too surprised by the name change of this blog, but discovering spiritual gifts can be very surprising! I’m not talking about your natural writing ability or God-given talent as a writer, but more:

The people of God have spiritual gifts specifically for strengthening the people of God.

What gifts? According to I Corinthians 12, the Holy Spirit gives a whole list of gifts you might want to check out in a wide variety of translations to get a full view of what God has in mind.

Once you have identified the spiritual gift(s) you have been given, you will most likely see ways to use those gifts in your writing life. For example, a spirit of wisdom might lead you to write insightful Bible study materials, prayer-poems, devotionals, or an advice column for teens, young marrieds, or other readers with whom you identify.

A spiritual gift can also help you to identify your most likely readers. For instance, a gift of evangelism lets you know to focus on non-Christian readers in your genre of choice, depending on your personal interests. Years ago, for example, I read romance novels by the box-load then wrote inspirational romances, not with the typical plot toward a “conversion experience,” but with story people whose faith or closeness to God had ebbed then flowed back before The End.

As you use your ministry gifts to encourage and up-build God’s people, your writing may gain a new sense of purpose. This can be exciting! So feel free to tell us about your discoveries in the Comments section below. If you aren’t sure what ministry gift you have been given, Comment on that too.

May the Holy Spirit guide you as you discern your spiritual gift(s) and use your writing for the common good of all good peoples of God.

(c) 2011, Mary Harwell Sayler
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