We Carry Each Other: Writing as a Way to Encourage

It’s always encouraging to know you’re not alone.

When you’re a writer, you may work in a perceived state of isolation, but you don’t really desire that isolation. You want to know that you have what it takes. You look to network with other writers and hear their stories of struggle and success – a confirmation that you are not alone.

Spiritually, we are in desperate need of encouragement.

The struggles of faith can leave us disillusioned and leave a sense of hopelessness. The successes of our faith can also blind us to areas in need of transformation. We can always communicate those needs to our Father, but He also wants us to understand what it means to care for one another.

Parents are also looking for encouragement.

It’s easy to get bogged down by all that you are not doing or all the things you feel you’re doing wrong. Sometimes hearing someone else’s success story adds to the guilt. Sometimes hearing someone else’s struggle can give us the idea that we’re “off the hook” in our responsibilities.

Encouragement seems to be a tension between lifting up and moving forward. It involves giving comfort and challenge. To give hope for the present and hope for the future.

In encouragement, we are given a hand up and a nudge forward.

In reading previous posts, I’ve observed times when I’ve navigated the tension well. It’s also been helpful to see when I’ve failed. In some posts, I’ve been comforted but not challenged. In others, I’ve been challenged but left without hope.

We all need genuine encouragement.

So, I’ve thought through how I can frame my writing with encouragement in mind. A verse of Scripture is becoming very helpful in this.

“Let not corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29, ESV).

From this, I’m beginning to consider the following questions about my posts:

  • Why am I writing this? This is the primary question. It’s a question of motivation. If this is answered well, then writing as a way to encourage will flow naturally. But, some other questions may help us continue to evaluate our motivations in the process.
  • Is what I’m saying or how I’m saying it tearing people down? There are many, especially claiming the name of Jesus, who by-pass both lifting up and spurring on for outright chastisement. My desire is for my writing to be always with grace, seasoned with salt (Col. 4:6). Again, I’ve done better at some times than others, and I’m sure to fail at times in the future. But asking this question before, during and after writing will benefit both me and my readers.
  • Is what I’m saying or how I’m saying it building people up? I’ve read some very interesting posts (both mine and others’) that have had some great information. In the end, though, I was left with an interesting thought as opposed to genuine encouragement. If we go back to the primary question of “Why am I writing this?” we can be sure our motivation is actually encouragement as opposed to some other selfish motive.
  • Does the content and tone of what I’m writing fit the occasion? For instance, blog writing is much different than teaching. As a teacher, I love the interaction between me and my listeners. But you don’t always have that with a blog. So my “teaching-focused” blogs may lack something in terms of “receivability.” We’ve all read blogs that have a “preachy” tone. Often, we might wonder if they just like the sound of their own voice (or keystrokes, as it were). We need to understand the benefits and limitations of our chosen method of delivery.
  • Is this post a gracious gift? This is an essential question. If our motivations are off, then we will never be able to answer this question with a “Yes.” We need to view our writing as a precious opportunity to carry each other through the highs and lows. With each brief post, we have an opportunity to give a little gift.

With these in mind, I have hope that regardless of how I’ve done in the past, future posts can become what they need to be.

But I also know that my hope can not be founded on what I can do for myself. 

  • My hope as a writer is in the gift of the Holy Spirit transforming my motivations to do all things out of love for God and love for others.
  • My hope in my faith is in the gift of incredible life and power in Jesus.
  • My hope as a parent is in the gift of adoption into the family of the greatest Father ever.

So whether your in the mountain or the valley, know that you are not alone.

God is with you, and He’s for you.

I’m with you, and I’m for you.

Let’s encourage one another with these words. Let’s lift one another up and spur one another forward.

Let’s carry each other.

One Response to “We Carry Each Other: Writing as a Way to Encourage”
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  1. […] an idea pops into my head, and I begin writing. I think through my motivations, consider what others have said, and try to flesh out something practical. When I do, I have the […]

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