July 28, 2011

God’s Pen

My heart is stirred by a noble theme as I recite my verses for the king; my tongue is the pen of a skillful writer. Psalm 45:1 (NIV)

This is a familiar verse of scripture for writers, one that I can quote off the top of my head. But recently I saw a few new things in this verse that I’d like to share.

My heart is stirred. Writing begins in the heart. It isn’t simply an exercise of the mind. Certainly, it can be all head and no real heart. For example, a lot of my assignments in school were written from a “have to” rather than “want to” perspective. But really great writing, the kind that stirs the soul and changes people, always starts in the heart.

For the king. God is the real audience for our words. Yes, published writers need to write with a particular human audience in mind, but the ultimate goal is to please the King. If He is not pleased, if the words don’t stem from Him, they are simply resounding gongs and clanging cymbals.

As I recite/ my tongue. Do you see the speaking—writing connection? The thought that occurred to me as I read this verse is that we need to listen carefully to what we say, the topics of our conversation. This can be a clear indicator of what we should be writing.

The other thing I see here is that speaking and writing go hand in hand. I know most writers don’t like to hear that, but it’s true. In this verse, it sounds as though the verses were already written by a skillful writer and now they are being recited before the king.

While this verse isn’t written only to writers, it’s rich with wisdom for us. Do you see anything else in this passage that would help writers?



Recovering Church Lady said...

This verse has been a key for me this year (as it is for many writers, I'm sure). You're correct though, to point out that the first part is really the most important part of the verse. Our hearts must be stirred. It is very easy to try shortcuts around that but they never work, do they?
Thanx for the beautiful reminder.

Kathryn Ross said...

You know, this was always a key verse to me as a writer. I struggled for a long time even calling myself a writer since I just didn't seem to have it together to publish a book. I wrote constantly - for recitation and performance purposes. Eventually, after I finally threw in the "I'm going to finish that novel and get it published and do my book tour and then I'll be a writer" towel - I realized, my writing and words that flowed out from deep places inside WHERE being published - in their season, onstage and in speaking engagements - and I had an audience all the time. God sat in the King's box hovering over the stage, and people actually filled in the seats below. Writing and reciting. Thanks for reminding me today, Bonita!
Miss Kathy

Linda said...

I can't help but notice the word skillful. Whatever He has called us to do, we should do it well. I guess I've just been thinking along those lines in recent days - wanting to learn to do my best.

P.S. Taking time to draw close to Him these days Bonita. Thank you.

Bethany from Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom said...

I never noticed this verse specifically before in regards to writing and speaking. Isn't it amazing how we can look at Scripture over and over again and still see new concepts? Thanks for sharing!!

Red Rose Alley said...

Hello Bonita,
I visited your blog today. Me and my daughters love to write, but my oldest daughter, Nel, is a Teacher of English, so I think she would enjoy coming here and reading your words. She is working on her PhD right now, and has a very busy schedule. We just started a new blog, and we would love it if you could visit us and follow. I would enjoy coming back to visit with you and reading all your eloquent words. Hope to hear from you, and have a beautiful weekend.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

Miss Sandy said...

I love this verse, thank you for some new insight.

Susan Rush said...

Your words just affirmed a prevalent thought that I've had all week. Write from the heart, nothing beats authenticity.