Writing Is a God-Given Gift


By Nate Stevens


Writing is a God-given gift. But like every other skill, writers must hone it to achieve optimal effect.


In His providence, God blessed me with the talent of writing. With the gift comes the responsibility to enhance the craft for clear communication, maximum effect, and accountability to God. One of my mottos is, “Never settle for mediocrity.”


The apostle Paul, one of history’s most prolific and inspiring authors, said, “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it” (1 Corinthians 9:24). Our goal shouldn’t be to compete or win every literary award but to do our best with what God has given us.


What separates the few from the many? Countless hours of practice and constant learning. Thankfully, God brought several stellar authors into my life (e.g., Cindy Sproles, Yvonne Lehman, Andrea Merrell, Jerry Jenkins, Don Brown). They’ve each had a tremendous effect and pushed me to enhance my writing skills.


After over forty years of writing, academically, corporately, and faith-based, I’ve learned (hopefully) to implement the following guidelines in my writing:  

  • Write with passion. Find what energizes you, then be genuine, real, and truthful. Readers want and deserve truth and authenticity.
  • Stand out. Not every story is compelling. Sometimes God gives special insight for personal benefit only. Exercise discernment in finding your voice and niche.
  • Research thoroughly. Unless writing an op-ed piece, avoid hedging words like maybe, perhaps, or possibly. Know your subject matter; don’t speculate.
  • Make every word count. Focus on eternal significance. Ask, “Is what I’m writing going to matter in light of eternity?” God holds us accountable for every word (Matthew 12:36) so make them count.
  • Edit ferociously. I recall a PowerPoint deck of 73 slides that God convicted me to eventually reduce to 20 slides. Then, I recently edited my current book manuscript, cutting out eleven thousand words. They were all great, but not necessary.
  • Remain coachable. Learn continuously. Listen to trusted, wise subject matter experts. Their feedback, positive and constructive, is a gift to be graciously received.
  • Mentor others. Have a Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy in your life. Learn from Paul, mentor Timothy, and listen to Barnabas. We’re all fellow beggars helping each other find bread.
  • Know when to finish. At some point, I find myself tweaking instead of editing. We can always find something to change or say differently. But the moment arrives when it’s time to let it go.

 And it’s time to let this go! Stay blessed, my friends!

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and adamr.

A lifelong student of Scripture, Nate Stevens has also enjoyed a forty-three-year banking career in a variety of leadership roles. He is the author of Matched 4 Life (book and workbook), Deck Time with Jesus, Transformed: Until Christ is Formed in You, Conformed: Into the Likeness of Christ, Informed: Living by God’s Absolute Truth, Surrendered: Yielding to God’s Perfect Will, God’s Secret Place, Accelerate Your Destiny. He is also a contributing author on several of the Moments Books series (Billy Graham Moments, Romantic Moments, Divine Moments, Spoken Moments, Christmas Moments, Stupid Moments, and Broken Moments).


Nate writes online articles for ChristianDevotions.us and KingdomWinds.com as well as several other ministries. Additionally, he co-founded and leads Fusion, a Christian singles ministry. A popular speaker and teacher at conferences, seminars and Bible study groups, he speaks on a wide variety of topics. Nate has two adult children. He and his wife, Karen, live near Charlotte, North Carolina. Follow Nate and find more resources at: www.natestevens.net.



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