Friday 27 February 2015

My Rite is to Write what’s Right

Three different words all sounding the same when combined underpin Christian writing. Rite, write and right are interwoven so well that more often than not we are not conscious of their influence. Or, at least, for Christian writers this should become our subconscious reality.

Defining the terms helps us, well me at least, to grasp a little of how they interact with my mind and pen.

Rite. A formal procedure. A basis for a ritual, liturgy. A system

Write. Thoughts, dreams, stories, experiences transferred from mind into print.

Right. A standard for living in relationships and honouring to God and His word.

In many ways my rite is affected by my personality and temperament. The procedure I follow when writing will find itself moulded by who I am. Sure, I can learn various techniques and helpful facts, but even these will be reshaped by my rite. What about my faith rite? As I’ve matured (like that better than getting older) I understand that my faith is governed by God’s word. For I am unshakeable in my understanding that Jesus is Saviour and Lord and His word is true.

How do I know my rite is right? By investigation and research into its foundations. When questions were raised and doubts aired I sought answers. On the basis of such scrutiny I made a commitment of my life. As Paul put it ‘I know in whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I’ve committed to him against that day.’ 2 Timothy 1:12. Nearly sixty years have crept up on me since then and my conviction about my faith rite being right is more ‘watertight’ than ever.

As you can appreciate, my genre in which I write is either devotional or apologetic (not to mention sermons and Bible studies). However, the same influence will permeate your writing style and genre. When we claim Jesus as our Lord and Saviour He works on us to take the wonder of what He has done from the conscious to the subconscious. It is from that realm our lives, and therefore our writings are coloured. To look back over the years of writing should make it clear how the Lord has impacted us. He refined our personality, reshaped our words and stories, restored spiritual insight and revitalised our writing. Light permeates the rite. It then seeps into what we write. We want people who read the words with which we have wrestled to express what we believe is right to come into contact with the light of life.

As Christian writers our calling is to lead our readers from ignorance to truth, from error to right, from darkness to light. Through your story, you take the reader through whatever darkness, deceit, danger or doubt your heroes encounter, into the climax of a faith discovery.

Many years ago a man, in summing up his story, said to Mary and I “am I right or am I wrong!” Permit me to use something similar as I conclude.  ‘Am I right about what I write from the rite which lights up my life?’

Ray Hawkins is a retired Churches of Christ minister. 
He writes themed Devotional Meditations : Children. Marriage. The Cross. Christmas. Happiness. and Dynamic Ageing. He has also written a book of poems celebrating 50 years of marriage.


  1. Nice play on words, Ray, as well as a great article. It's good to reflect on our 'rite of passage' and see where it's taken us :)

    1. Thanks Andrea. I do like playing with words but then don't all writers. Trust you continue to enjoy being a wordsmith.


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