Writing is a great means of expression and a valuable tool. For much of history many people did not know how to read or write so they had to find other ways to express themselves. But, being able to write helps us do something as simple as note our observations or something as complex as explore the meaning and significance of what we observe.
The statement made by Dawson Trotman is a favorite of ours - he said: “Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and fingertips…” Communicating the thoughts that tend to whirl around in our minds into spoken or written words can help us think more soundly about them. That is a great benefit of writing as reflection - it helps put a handle on our thoughts and emotions so that we can set them in their proper place - even if that place is the dumpster!
Reflective writing can show us important aspects of ourselves which ought to be appreciated or confronted - areas which might otherwise go unaddressed because we’re entertaining so many other influences and thoughts.
The book of Psalms is filled with many written reflections by King David and others.
David used his time to write about what he thought and spoke. Rather than keeping his thoughts and feelings about his relationship with God bottled up inside, he writes at length about God's goodness to him - and recalls as many things as he can remember:
“Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me.” [Psalm 103:2]
“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” [Psalm 139:17,18]
That is another great benefit of using time to write - expressing appreciation and thankfulness, even in the event that words fail to capture the fullness of what we experienced. David notes it is impossible to recall all of Gods many kindnesses, but he still recalled those he knew. It is always beneficial that we appreciate others and tell them how much we cherish them and their contributions to our lives.
There is something special God designed within written message to touch the heart of those we appreciate. There would be no ‘thankless jobs’ if those who benefit from the efforts expressed their thankfulness and appreciation to those doing the work!
In other writings David notes both pleasant and tough times - his joys and sorrows, success and failures. Rather than using his writing to vent his thoughts and emotions, his actual purpose was to set them before God. This was how he literally got them ‘off his chest’. Doing so engaged God in an intimate way to help him sort and sift out corrosive and bitter thoughts from those which were edifying and healing.
“O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say even before I say it, LORD.” [Psalm 139:1-5]
A key factor in David’s intimate relationship with God was that David still spoke and wrote out his thoughts to God - despite God knowing David better than David knew himself. The reason we mention this is that people cannot read minds like God. If we choose not to develop and practice expressing our thoughts it should not be surprising that a lack of intimacy (miscommunication, etc.) results. Besides, if we struggle to clearly express ourselves it is unfair and unrealistic to expect others to know what we are thinking.
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” [Psa. 19:14]
David knew that anything which pleased God was good for his own mind and soul. Writing was an important way he communicated those things.
It's common today to hear admissions and complaints of lack of intimacy, inability to express thoughts and feelings, poor communication, attention deficits, etc. But, when we read Scripture we don’t tend to find people who practiced God's biblical keys and principles struggling with and defeated by such things which plagued others in society then or now.
Besides, something to consider is that God models the behavior first that He calls anyone who believes Him to imitate:
“This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.” [Jeremiah 30:2]
“The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations. What joy for the nation whose God is the LORD, whose people He has chosen as His inheritance.” [Psalm 33:12]
“But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” [Matthew 4:4]
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” [2 Timothy 3:16,17]
We would not have Scripture or history if God hadn’t decided to pen His Thoughts!
Reading Scripture 📖 is probably our greatest reminder of how important and beneficial it is to pen our thoughts!
- ANOTHEN ✍️