“I therefore a prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” Ephesians 4:1.
Writing does not feel like a calling or ministry. It feels more like something I do that others judge me for. I feel more like a hypocrite or Pharisee or religious leader who spouts words that help no one and lifts no ones burdens from them.
Instead of writing, I should be out saving the world like Mother Theresa or Billy Graham or any of the countless others who actually care for people. I should be saving orphans, comforting widows and feeding the poor. I should be out defending the rights of the oppressed, sharing the gospel through my actions as a missionary, or going into countries and setting trafficked victims free or providing clean water. Writing does not seem like a ministry to me.
What does writing have to do with ministering to people? When I know full well that people can write all about God and Christianity and live behind their screens and their papers and never actually help people or lighten a persons burdens. I understand the hypocrisy.
Everyone is a writer. Everyone has a voice. And in Christian communities, even more so.
Writing and bible studies go hand in hand. Writing and ministry? Not so much. Preachers write, but that is one small thing in the greater ministry of caring for people that they do. Writing is not all they do.
Writing is all I do.
It seems as if it is all I know how to do. And even then, I am not the most eloquent writer. I am average. I break a lot of writing rules and do not even care if my sentences are incomplete or run on and on and on forever. My only strength is that I know how to painfully bleed my life out on paper. I am a bleeding heart. I write from the heart and not from any technical expertise. I write what I know and what I have lived and what I walk out and live through in my own life.
Yet, writers have inspired me in a way that no one else has. Writers have found a way to sneak into my brain and even re-write the way I view the history of my own life. Writers say things that I sometimes wish I could say or have others say to me. Writers remap a thought process, bring healing to psychological wounds, and inspire something better than the life of words I have been known to live by so far. To writers who have in anyway inspired or shaped me, I am truly thankful.
Words do matter.
They allow us to reason, to wrestle with thought patterns and they bend and mold and shape us and our culture. Words have power. Not only in what we say, but what we write.
Stories that connect and point and bring glory to God matter. My story matters. See, what I am really wrestling with is not so much whether writing is a ministry, but whether my story, the stories of my life are able to minister to others. I question if my story, how Jesus saves me every single day of my life, is really worth writing about.
As a writer, walking worthy of my calling has nothing to do with living a perfect sinless life. It has nothing to do with my worthiness because I am not worthy. Only God is worthy. Walking worthy of my calling means that I must be brave enough to confess and share how God chooses to use the imperfections of my life. To share the good news about how God heals, restores, and brings victory in my everyday life.
Walking worthy of my calling, means that I need to start thinking of writing as a calling and as a ministry. I cannot afford to think that writing is not a ministry. For if I do, I may not write at all. I may not offer the only gift I feel I have left to offer. So, writing matters.
I may not be the great Christian heroin who sets captives free, opens eyes to see, and gives freedom to the oppressed. But perhaps by learning to be faithful in writing, to walk worthy of my calling, with this one small gift that God has given me, I will learn to be faithful in other things too. That is my hope and the reason I write.
I write believing this one small step of faith will lead me to another and then another. To know that God really can use everything, even my writing. That is what it means to walk worthy of my calling.
What step of faith do you need to take today? What does walking worthy of your calling look like for you?