How Do We “Glorify God” in Our Writing?

When asked what they hope to
accomplish with their writing, Christian writers are fond of saying that
they want to “glorify God.” They want to magnify, exalt, honor, give
witness of and uphold God in the stories they tell.

Which leads to a confession: I have no idea what they’re talking about.

Of course, I realize that Christians are to glorify God in everything they do.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (I Cor. 10:31).

But doesn’t this render the Christian writer’s response moot? I mean, if you’re supposed to do EVERYTHING to the glory of God, why must you single out your writing?

  • Do you glorify God in how you eat?
  • Do you glorify God in your TV habits?
  • Do you glorify God in how you manage your money?
  • Do you glorify God in how you treat your boss?
  • Do you glorify God in how much you serve others?
  • Do you glorify God in your online presence?
  • Do you glorify God in how you market your book?

“Do ALL to the glory of God.”

If
this is assumed, then why are Christians writers so concerned to point
out that their literary mission is to “glorify God”? That should be a
given. In fact, if you’re not glorifying Him with your whole life now,
why should it matter that you stick references to Him in your stories?

And, sadly, that’s what many folks mean by glorifying God in their writing. For most Christian writers, glorifying God is all about their message.
It means not backing away from the Gospel and not avoiding references
to Christ in their novel. It means developing content that is virtuous,
redemptive, and spiritually uplifting.

Which leads me to ask: Can only writers of explicit “Christian content” glorify God in their writing?
Can a Christian sportswriter glorify God in his writing? Can a
Christian textbook maker glorify God in her writing? Can a Christian chef God in their cookbook? Can a Christian op-ed columnist
glorify God in their editorial columns? Can a Christian scriptwriter for
Nickelodeon glorify God in their writing?

IF NOT — if only Christian writers can glorify God in Christian stories — then how can a Christian ever hope to “do all to the glory of God”?
IF SO — if Christians can glorify God in whatever
kind of story they write (or task, service, job they perform) — then
how is glorifying God in a Christian story any different than glorifying
God in a “secular” story?

Call me a stickler, a wet blanket if
you like. But glorifying God seems to be a lot more than just going to
church, quoting Scripture, referencing God, and distributing Bible
tracts. Glorifying God is a lot bigger than just our message.

So why must our novels be any different?

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Mike is a monthly contributor to Novel Rocket. He is represented by the rockin’ Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary. Mike’s novels include The TellingThe Resurrection, and an ebook novella, Winterland.  You can visit his website at www.mikeduran.com.