The Ripple Effect of Your Writing

     by Sally Matheny

Think of the all the things you wrote in the past few days. 

Grocery lists, work assignments, or perhaps even a complaint letter to a company. Without a doubt, many of us typed messages from our computers and cell phones. 

It’s rare a day goes by without us writing something. Quite a bit of that ends up in a trashcan or in a mysterious, technical hole known as the Cloud.

Today, why not compose something more enduring? Words so moving they don't melt into oblivion, but stir a tide of encouragement in another person’s soul. Inspiring words so powerful, they ignite action. 

Can you imagine the ripple effect of such writing?

My husband and I recently attended a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. While Chapman is the most awarded artist in Christian music with almost 11 million albums sold, he is not immune to the pains and heartaches of this world. Yet, he clings to the Truth, which is why hope and joy resonate in the words he writes and sings.

Chapman’s latest album, The Glorious Unfolding, is definitely touching many lives. We met a young woman named Cindy at the concert. She shared with me how Chapman’s music recently affected her life.

Cindy shared that just five days prior to the concert, she was on her way to the hospital to visit her ailing father. While in route, she heard Chapman’s song, The Glorious Unfolding play on the radio. During her visit at the hospital, her father left his earthly home to live forever in his heavenly one. I began to offer my sympathy but Cindy nodded quickly. She wanted to tell me more.

Steven Curtis Chapman
(compliments of Wikipedia)
Upon leaving her father’s deathbed in the hospital, Cindy returned to her car. Turning the key ignited The Glorious Unfolding, playing once again on the radio. God continued to comfort her throughout the week. On the day of her father’s funeral, Cindy heard once more, Steven Curtis Chapman singing his words of comfort and hope in The Glorious Unfolding.

    If I understood her correctly, she did not see the music video written for this song until after all the previous events had occurred. Imagine her joy-filled amazement as she watched the video’s storyline unfold. It's about a young woman’s journey following her father’s death.

There’s no way Steven Curtis Chapman can know the ripple effects his songs will have when he first writes them. He only knows to write what he knows to be true and to do it the best way he knows how.

I love when people use their talents to honor Christ and point others to Him. I’m thankful for song artists like Chapman and for the writers of movies such as Fireproof, Courageous, and God’s Not Dead. Authors’ words like those of C.S. Lewis and Charles Spurgeon continue to inspire generation after generation.

Perhaps you’re muttering to yourself that you’re not an award-winning wordsmith. My friend, you’re not thinking about the right kind of rewards. Just as the words in songs, movies and books make lasting impressions upon people, so can your words.
Do you have a special letter or card tucked safely away because you cherish the words written inside it? Unless you’re a pack rat, it’s not the card that simply says,

Thinking of you.


It’s the one that someone gave great care expressing his thoughts. He took time to share what’s in his heart with you.

If you want to write a song, a movie, or a book that will change the worldI’m rooting for you. The world needs more people writing and producing products with a Christian worldview.
But God did not create everyone to pen products like these.  However, He will use the words of all His people—the elderly man on the bench, the young teen standing in line, or even the little child in your lap to encourage others.

He wants each of us to use our words for building up, not tearing down. Negative and hurtful comments have a ripple effect as well. Malicious words aimed at a target audience will seep over onto innocent bystanders. 

The words we choose either represent God, or they don’t.

Sometimes it’s easy. Other times it’s difficult. That’s why we need God’s help. Like Steven Curtis Chapman, your words must be sincere. Work hard to encourage others when you write.

Express love.

Offer forgiveness.

Give hope.

Splash your words in such a way they bring joy as they skip across the page. What you write may create a ripple effect more beautiful than you ever imagined.