Why Should We Take the Time to Write?

Think about your heros--men and women who have made a significant contribution to our world. As I made my list I was struck by the diversity--People from various countries, economic positions, and ages. My spiritual heroes are also a very diverse group. But what surprised me most was that they all kept a journal. Was it journaling that helped them be successful?


Writing focuses our attention

Journal writing keeps us focused on what God has gifted and called us to do. Writing helps us focus, ask hard questions, and hold on to our values when we go through adversity. Politicians, scientists, missionaries, and biblical authors like Moses and David, all found private writing kept them focused on their goals.

Writing is the tool for learning

Teachers and researchers have shown that writing is more powerful than anything else in truly cementing new understanding deep within our own thinking. Across the curriculum, even in physical education classes, we write. As a graduate student I kept notes and reflections as I read extensively, and often I surprised myself by how closely the words I wrote in my thesis were to the words of other authors. Without knowing it, I had integrated their thoughts and made them my own. Writing is a powerful tool for learning.



writing gives us time to reflect

The pace of life for previous generations was much slower. As Jesus and his disciples walked from place to place there was time for conversation and personal reflection. In the 1700-1900s people spent hours writing letters, reflecting on their lives, expressing their hearts. But not so today. Never before in history has there been a society that was so rich in things and so poor in time. When do you keep watch over your heart?

When do you monitor how close you feel to the Lord? When do you pay attention to the important things in your life? When do you take an honest hard look at what's really motivating you? When do you ask yourself if all of your activity is leading you to where you want to go? Typically, we don't have a chance in the normal course of our day to pause and reflect and get to know ourselves. Journal keeping gives us this opportunity.

For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them?
— Paul, 1 Cor. 2:11