“With great power comes great responsibility;” a popular coined quote that has been used by many. You’ve probably read it on a poster or heard it in a movie. The original speaker’s identity isn’t absolute, but many point to Teddy Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, even Ben Parker (Spiderman’s uncle). More importantly, the Bible gives us insight into this topic to some extent.
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48B
This has been rephrased over and over again to fit a particular situation. No matter how you say it though, the statement means the same thing. If you have a higher advantage or gifting over fellow brethren, you are called to higher demands and expectations. When I think about the power I hold, I immediately point to Jesus in me, and his Holy Spirit that gives me the power to love. That comes with responsibilities as well. God tells us to nurture our relationship with Him, and to not hold ourselves over other people.
What about the gifts he has blessed us with? Such as…writing? Well of course that’s power! You can literally alter people’s emotions and actions! With your words, you can make someone cry, or perhaps throw your book across the room in frustration. You can cause someone to laugh until their sides hurt or steal your book from the library because they love it so much. Kind of scary, right? Of course, this is where our quote comes in, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Some of that duty is relatively obvious for a Christian writer. You should always glorify God and what he stands for in whatever you put out for others’ consumption. There should be meaning in what you write, deep insight in your words. Whether it be a nonfiction piece about loving our parents, or a fantasy novel about a broken nation that worships deities, it should all point to the cross in some way or another. There are actually, many responsibilities that come with writing in addition to glorifying God, though they all revolve around that point. Here’s a few of them.
1. Don’t Make Writing An Idol.
Recently I had been struggling with making writing a priority, and also balancing my “tight” schedule. Every day after I finished my school, I would sit down to write. I was kind of obsessed with planning out how long it would take to finish my school work, because I felt so guilty if I didn’t write something. After I wrote three hundred words or more in a day, I would go onto the Young Writer’s Workshop community as a reward. Let me say that that place can be extremely addicting and fun! If I wasn’t able to write, I wasn’t able to go onto YWW Community, and if I wasn’t able to go on YWW Community, I felt deprived. That deprived nature drove me to put writing as an absolute necessity, even over my own family. It was getting to a pretty weird level of obsession, and I soon realized that I was making writing, or perhaps the reward, an idol. Some might say that being obsessed with writing is a good thing, and others wish that they were that inspired to write. Jesus states that anything put before God is an idol. It calls for a careful balance of priority and conscience.
2. Do Your Best.
Whenever I write an article like this one, my immediate response is to send in the piece without any editing. It’s just raw first draft material that doesn’t have a refined touch, correct grammar, or fully collected thoughts. Why is this the case? Because correcting your writing is hard. It takes time and effort, usually more than just your own. Sometimes it requires you to create more content to replace the unacceptable. This is absolutely necessary though, because we must learn. By correcting and refining our writing, we can increase our knowledge of what is best. We must not settle for the “convenient”, or the “suitable”. Running towards excellence in everything we do will also advance our relationship with God as we are seeking to please him above ourselves. In addition, when we don’t do our absolute finest work, we deplete our own reputation as a writer. Who wants to read content that has a rough texture to it?
These two responsibilities are but a few of the many that we must follow as writers. As creators of wonderful pieces of literature that nurture minds and hearts, we are blessed with great responsibility. Instead of thinking about these things as a burden to your work, try to twist your mind into thankfulness. Our Father has given us much, and we don’t have much to grant in return. The least we can do is follow His Word, and the most we can do is sacrifice ourselves each day. Remember that God is all powerful. We are made in His image. He has given us writing. Writing is power. Treat it as such.
“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” –James 3:1