Monday, July 28, 2014

How Social Media Has Made Me a Better Writer and a Better Christian (Part 1 of 2)


(Access the audio.)

Writers have a love-hate relationship with social media. While they know that they need to be active on the internet in order to extend their reach and gain a wider audience, many of them dread the time it takes away from their writing. 

I happen to love social media, and not just because I'm an extrovert. I believe that its use has benefits beyond gaining an audience and establishing a platform. 

I believe that it's made me a better writer and a better Christian. 

How Social Media Has Made Me a Better Writer and a Better Christian:

Part 1: Social media promotes the distillation of ideas. 

I always have a lot to say—too much, in fact. 

Fortunately many social media platforms (such as Twitter, which limits post size to micro levels) force me to be concise. Knowing that I'm dealing with a 140-character limit prompts me to pare down each post, scrapping needless adjectives, phrases, and clauses—forcing me toward the purest expressions. 

One of the reasons that I love to read C.S. Lewis is his ability to handle weighty truth and deep spiritual ideas in simple language (whereas if I tried to write on such themes, I would produce a load of polysyllabic gibberish). 

Not that we need to water down truth or talk down to people. Quite the reverse. 

We need to come beyond the human need to impress others with our vocabulary; to lay down the pride that incites us to be needlessly complicated; to spurn the type of lazy communication that focuses on quantity over quality. 

Wasn't it Albert Einstein who said, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"? 

A hard truth when applied in light of spiritual understanding. 

May God give us grace to go further and deeper in our study of His word; to distill our understanding down to a fellowship so deep that even our shortest sentences are pregnant with His truth.


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