Fearful Writing

It is important for Christian writers to be bold, not worrying so much about who might be offended by the gospel or who might take biblical truth the wrong way. Despite society being fragile these days with so many people triggered by the littlest thing, this situation shouldn’t stop us from proclaiming God’s truth.

We all need to be more fearless in the way we live and communicate. After all, as children of God, we need not worry since we know He not only has our back, but also is in front of us, beside us, above us, and below us. His Spirit lives in us. Courage comes from knowing we are not alone in the battle.

But at the same time, I think we need to live and communicate a lot more “fearful.” 

The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge according to Proverbs 1:7. Hebrews 10:26-31 starts with mentioning a fear of God’s judgment and ends with, “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Christian writers are representing Jehovah God to the world. While called to be strong, courageous, and fearless, confident in God’s protection and inspiration, there should be a healthy dose of “fearful writing,” meaning we take great care reflecting the heart of God.

Sometimes, fearless behavior flows from confidence in self and our own ability. A confidence in God should create a delicate mix of courage (fearless) and deep humility (fearful).

This is the same for any Christ-follower in any area of life, not only writers. When you get up in the morning as a Christ-follower, you take on the role of Christ’s ambassador (2 Corinthians 5:20). I don’t know about you; but while I accept that role with confidence and joy, it also scares me.

And that’s good.

Without a fearful approach to writing, your theology, goals, and purpose will waver from the true north compass of God’s Word and focus on making people like you, above all else.

What does fearful writing look like?

• Work surrounded by prayer and preparation.

• An openness to God’s leading in a different direction than you might have planned and an open mind to Scripture as it transforms your opinions and work.

• Openness to other people (like editors) to speak into what you write. God gifts and equips others in complementary ways.

I hope this post was a little more than simple word-play for you today. As God leads us through a fallen world, we all learn about balancing things like grace and truth; forgiveness and judgment; loving God and loving others; leading and submitting; faith and works; and living a confident, courageous life in service of God our Father while holding Him in reverent fear in all we do.

It’s a journey. Hold your head up as you fearlessly represent Christ to the world; but also hold your eyes down in reverent fear, so you can clearly see the road God has before you.

19 Responses to Fearful Writing

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser March 23, 2022 at 3:30 am #

    The world’s become a weirded place,
    a clown-show in full session;
    if ‘fore eating you say grace,
    it is microaggression,
    and the wearing of a cross
    can pull you direct from shop floor
    to a meeting with the boss,
    and you’ll be shown the door.
    So what to do, in Writerland?
    What should we say, and how,
    to help the heathens understand
    that we will not kowtow,
    but offer instead loving greetings
    from our hipster King of body piercings?

    • Lois Y Easley March 23, 2022 at 6:12 am #

      Exactly how I responded to this essential word. Thank you, Dan Balow!

    • Linda March 23, 2022 at 4:52 pm #

      I am in process of writing a young adult book. Wondering if I could write shorter stories for younger children to supplement income until the story comes together. Is there a specific subject that is in demand in the market that I could write and you confidently feel you could get a publisher to publish?

  2. Tom Scott March 23, 2022 at 5:27 am #

    The tension between effort and grace, submission and leadership, thoughts and divine direction, tire me and leave me confused.

  3. Damon J. Gray March 23, 2022 at 5:30 am #

    Dan, this is an outstanding blog posting. Very well done! I’m going to archive this one off to read again in the future.

  4. Gordon Palmer March 23, 2022 at 5:37 am #

    Wow, Dan. Thank you. Your phrase about “society being fragile these days with so many people triggered by the littlest thing” is one of the best summaries I’ve seen. And your list of all we must balance is so true. I always pray God will keep me right in the middle on his straight path.

  5. Elena Corey March 23, 2022 at 6:43 am #

    Thank you ever so much, Dan. This hits me where I need a shove. I’ve been thinking I shouldn’t submit my thoughts since they are not the current cultural trend and publishers wouldn’t take a chance on Christian writers who aren’t already known. Your post, plus God’s message to Joshua–be strong and of good courage–can help to overcome the fear. Elena Corey


  6. Roberta Sarver March 23, 2022 at 6:49 am #

    Thanks for these excellent thoughts, Dan. Being a writer or blogger in these times can feel like walking a tightrope. Perhaps we could say the Lord is our safety net.

  7. Jaime March 23, 2022 at 6:50 am #

    This was a very encouraging post for me right now. I am going over my manuscript one more time before I send it to my publisher, and I feel this weight. I am praying for boldness to say what He has me say, and the fear to say nothing more. I just want to get it right.

  8. Ginny Graham March 23, 2022 at 7:13 am #

    Thank you, Dan, beautiful message today. Our strength is from the Lord.

  9. Tim Shoemaker March 23, 2022 at 7:56 am #

    Great job, Dan!! A great topic for the post!!

  10. Caroline March 23, 2022 at 8:08 am #

    Thank you for this. It is a great post! Daunting, but so right!

  11. Marcia Laycock March 23, 2022 at 8:10 am #

    Great post, Dan. Thank you.

  12. Gayle Veitenheimer March 23, 2022 at 9:06 am #

    This was my blog post this month:

  13. Judi Clarke March 23, 2022 at 9:43 am #

    I love this post, Dan. It is such a good and important message for us all. Thank you.

  14. sylvia March 23, 2022 at 11:39 am #

    I’m sitting here trying not to cry as I reread what you wrote. Have I done enough in my books? Too much? Is God pleased with my efforts, or do I need to pray more, re-evaluate what I have written. Too much fiction, not enough of His truths? I thank you for this wake up, shake up message. Will read my efforts thru again after much more prayer. I love the Lord and thank Jesus for the help He gave me while I was writing, as I find it hard to balance fiction with God’s truth. Thanks again

  15. Kristen Joy Wilks March 23, 2022 at 12:14 pm #

    Hmmm … interesting. Why not lead with the bottom two paragraphs? This post makes me think of those I love who are triggered by things. Women with a tragic journey who can’t watch a domestic violence scene, soldiers who avoid war movies, humane society workers who don’t read about hurting animals so that they can keep doing their job without burning out. Humility is so incredibly vital when one is being bold. Plus, a clear direction from the Lord as we walk in Him. I certainly have a tendency to rush boldly ahead in a riled-up passion with the very things that the Lord is cautioning me to be more gentle in. I know and love a lot of hurting people who have encountered bold Christians who had some selective memory loss about that whole humility bit. Kristen said boldly, while talking about humility …

  16. Rhonda Delamoriniere March 24, 2022 at 2:43 pm #

    Thank you for this. It means a lot to me and was a timely exhortation.

    God bless you as He uses you to be a blessing to us.

  17. Jide March 28, 2022 at 11:21 am #

    Thank you Dan for providing such insight to “ The Fear Balance”.. Amen!

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