A Few Good Questions

Marcia Lee Laycock writes from Alberta Canada, where she lives with her husband, two golden retrievers and a six-toed cat. She was the winner of the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award in 2006 for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel will be released soon. Visit her at www.vinemarc.com

A writer/editor I greatly respect wrote: “We need to keep our own fallibility very much in mind, adopting a humble posture towards the readers we serve and God, whom we seek to honour.” Doug Koop, editor, Christian Week Newspaper

Mr. Koop says there are some questions we need to ask ourselves, as writers – “Do they (our words) encourage better attitudes? Do they inspire better activity? Do they edify? Do they entertain? Do they strengthen the right muscles? Do they inform truthfully and graciously? Do they honour Jesus Christ and the Church He loves? Those kinds of questions matter …”

As I read his column this week, it gave me pause. Can I put a check mark beside each of those questions when I consider my work? I would hope so. I think Mr. Koop has encapsulated what it means to be a writer who is Christian, both in terms of motivation and practise.

It is a high calling, one not to be taken lightly, one not to be used to grow our own egos but to act as the conduit for God’s purposes. He has purposes for our words – purposes that involve people we may never meet – a young woman who needs emotional healing, a young man who needs to deal with his anger, an elderly woman who needs to forgive, an elderly man who just needs a good laugh. Our words, used to God’s purposes, can affect change in the lives of our readers. All we have to do is choose them wisely, put them together and then get out of the way.

All we have to do is respect our readers enough to work hard at finding the right words, praying they will understand and act upon the words we write, and honour God enough to acknowledge His sovereignty as He does with them what he will.

For “of this gospel I was appointed a herald” (2 Timothy 1:11)