Writing brings clarity

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Writing and Reading”
Our Bible verse for today: “It also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in an orderly sequence, most honorable Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed.” Luke 1:3 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Writing brings clarity”
The Gospel writer Luke was a physician – a man of medicine and science. He was a logical and reasoned thinker and he recognized the value of clear, concise writing. So, when he decided to write an account of the life of Jesus, he “carefully investigated everything” and then he wrote it out in the clearest and most straight-forward manner he could.
Madeleine L’Engle was a popular writer, especially of young adult fiction. She wrote the bestseller “A Wrinkle in Time”. But she also wrote poems, plays, and many books about living the Christian life well. In her book, “Walking on Water” she was explaining the importance of writing in general and of journaling in particular. She said, “If I can write things out, I can see them, and they are not trapped within my own subjectivity.”
Madeleine was talking about the fact that writing brings clarity to our thoughts. Writing causes us to think about what we want to say as we organize our thoughts and attempt to express them clearly. We can then read what we’ve written and think about it some more. Then, if needed, we can rewrite it, and rewrite it again, and keep rewriting it until we have expressed exactly what we are thinking and feeling.
With respect to using writing to bring clarity, I learned an important lesson from the example of Abraham Lincoln (which I adopted and have used myself for many years). If Lincoln needed to have a difficult discussion with a person, especially about a complex or unpleasant subject, he would often write that person a carefully worded letter about it first. He would ask the person to read the letter thoughtfully, multiple times, and then to respond to it, in writing, in the same manner (thoughtful and clear). Then, after they both took the time to clearly express themselves in writing and to give careful thought to what the other person had to say, they would meet to further discuss the issue in-person.
The reason Lincoln did that was because the things we say in face-to-face conversations (especially about sensitive or difficult subjects), are often spontaneous, not well thought out, and sometimes driven by emotions. We also sometimes don’t really listen well to the other person in those kinds of situations, because half our mind is thinking about what we want to say next rather than really listening deeply to what the other person is saying now. It can also be difficult afterwards to remember accurately and fully what was actually said during the conversation. Writing about it first helps to eliminate all those problems.
Writing helps to bring clarity, and we would all benefit from doing more of it.
God bless,
Pastor Jim 
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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