Friday, June 5, 2020

Christlike Words by Melinda V. Inman

Meme that says "Writer Life."

Christlike Words

Our words are powerful. They’re able to help or to destroy. We can speak Christlike words of life to those around us and write them to our readers, or we can destroy all hope, devastate our listeners/readers, and bring emotional destruction.

In James 3, the brother of Jesus likens our words and our inability to tame them to:

  • a fire with the ability to be useful or to burn down a forest.
  • a small bit in the mouth of a large horse controlling that animal for good or for ill.
  • a rudder that steers a massive seafaring vessel into fair waters or into a storm.

With our words, we’re able to assist, to guide, or to steer others toward harm or toward good. Which are we doing? Our faith is shown by our actions (James 2:17, 22, 24). This includes the words that come out of our mouths and the words that flow from our keyboards.

How can we be wise with our words?

Before posting or tweeting, writers have the ability to pause to consider what the Lord would have us to write and to determine what is pleasing to him. We can take time to reflect and to pray, thus allowing our emotions to calm. We can ponder how our words might impact others.

After taking time to consider, we’re typically able to respond wisely. If not, more time is needed. We can step away to patiently exam the matter in more depth.

During this pandemic, we’ve encountered issues we’ve never before faced in our lifetimes. Decisions are handed down by government-appointed health officials, and we all seem to differ on how to respond, what to do, and what not to do about these guidelines. Strife over this has broken out in our churches, our neighborhoods, our families, and within our circle of friends.

What’s a Christian writer to do?

“A person is justified by works and not by faith alone,” James 2:24b tells us, meaning that we’re proven to be believers or unbelievers by our deeds, including our words. The content of our hearts spills out in our actions and our words, both verbally and in our written posts and tweets.

Therefore, as Christian writers, we must constantly probe our hearts to decipher our true motives. Are we led by the Lord? We must also determine whether the issue we feel so strongly about is worth dissecting publicly, or if we’re far too vehement to state our viewpoint kindly and gently, yet firmly. How would the Lord have us tackle the matter?

If we lack perspective on an issue, because it’s intensely personal, we must question ourselves before posting, maybe even obtaining another’s opinion. When emotions are high, we write strong words of truth, not backing down from what is right, yet tempering our words with gentleness and concern for the soul to whom we write. We ask ourselves:

Have we used Christlike words that are sound and true, demonstrating love and kindness?

Meme that says "Do unto others as you would have them do to you."

We’re Christians. Will we treat others the way we would like to be treated? Can we discern their needs, as if we were living through the other’s situation or experiencing the heartache they must bear? In person or in print, will we speak as we would like to be spoken to?

As writers, let’s use words of wisdom, pausing to allow an unkind retort to fade away and not to be sent out into the wider world when interacting on social media.

Let’s write words that will challenge, convict, and uplift our readers to pause, to think, to speak kindly, to love one another, and to do to others as we would like done to us.

Let’s write words that aim our readers toward trusting the Lord and keeping the interests of others first. Let’s live, speak, and write in ways that please Christ, using Christlike words.

Let’s live, speak, and write in ways that please Christ, using Christlike words. #WritingCommunity #seriouslywrite #KindnessMatters via @MelindaVInman

The Shadows Come
The Shadows Come

Sequel to No Longer Alone
(WW1 Based on a True Story)

Germany threatens all of Europe. Millions have died. President Woodrow Wilson makes the declaration that the United States must enter the Great War to rescue our allies. Congress approves. Our story begins. In America’s heartland, everyone hunkers down to provide food for the world and resources for the war effort. A draft is necessary, and all young men must register. One by one, these are called to war. With this threat looming, Prentis and Avery raise the necessary horsepower, cultivate the needed crops, and contribute their labors to the Red Cross.

But crises at home, an insidious busybody, and one after another called up to fight in Europe bring the greatest dangers they’ve ever faced together. Then there’s the influenza pandemic. Will they survive the war abroad and the war being waged at home, threatening their love and their lives? Will their loved ones make it home again?

Melinda V. Inman, author of Fallen; Refuge;
No Longer Alone; and The Shadows Come

Raised on the Oklahoma plains in a storytelling family, Melinda now spins tales from her writer’s cave in the South. Her fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives.


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