I find Bible study to be very provocative in a possible sense. It gets my juices flowing, seeing new connections to God’s mercy and fulfillments of prophecies. And, it just so happens that when your brain starts to work, sometimes it continues! Yay! I often find myself scribbling down notes and ideas in between Bible study and church as I ponder from that productive state of mind. What Bible study brought up today, however–in my mind at least, is whether I succumb to writing idolatry.
I do not mean writing new heresies! Rather, do I seek my good, my identity, and my meaning from writing? From what I can do or how I imagine myself to be, or do I rightly find it in God?
You can guess that the answer can also be yes and no. My own thoughts followed many rabbit holes down various possibilities. Including this, yes, I seek good from writing, I identify (at least sometimes) as a writer, and I find meaning most intensely at times in writing. On the other hand, writing is a way I seek to share God’s goods and goodness. It is a way to serve as well as a way to expand meaning and identity to better portray the blessings of God’s mercies in Christ and creation.
Writing has its temptations like everything else. In Bible Study someone even mentioned how Facebook can be idolatrous with the extent that social media has spread its influence.
“Is writing idolatry?” is a good question to ask. Christians should embrace that writings is a means rather than an end. Writing is not ultimately for fame and fortune (although I’ve kind of got to laugh at those who think it is). Instead, by the power, teaching, and incarnation of the Word, even our words are changed.
That doesn’t mean that every word is pious or explicitly religious. Still, may the Lord grant that they connect us to our neighbors, service, knowledge, and wisdom. May they turn us to our Lord and the Word He gives us. May it actually be the opposite of escapism, in that it can draw us further into this world and love toward God and one another.