“Why I Write”: A Personal Reflection on the Impetus to Create


I love to write, especially inspirational thoughts, short sermons, and devotional thoughts. I realize I don’t have the ability to be especially profound, or eloquent, or entertaining, but I enjoy sharing my heart about the Lord, His Word, life stories, history, missions, music, and family. So I write and am glad to have a venue to do it. Back in the late 70s I wrote a short story for CONTACT magazine for a writing contest. When I got the manuscript back, marked up in red, with lots of “constructive” criticism about what was wrong with my writing and how I could have done it better, I was crushed. That ended my ambition to be a fiction writer. Needless to say, I have continued writing though!

A fresh perspective…

I enjoy writing because I often feel a need or desire to give a fresh (and often personal) perspective on things. What I write may be accurate and insightful, or not. I may be partly right, and partly wrong, and at times I’ll need some constructive criticism, some corrections. Some things come into my mind in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. Some things I’ve thought about, and prayed over considerably, and I always try to speak from experience and out of concern. It doesn’t mean I’m always right, but it does mean that I care. And because I care, I feel I need to say something when possible.

The need to create…

There is also the matter of creative interest. We all have creativity in our DNA makeup. We’re born with it, and we develop it over our lifetime. A child coloring a picture, a woodcarver carving out a soldier from a block of wood, a songwriter giving birth to a new musical composition, a basketball player working on a new move. We won’t all have the same impact or influence, but we all need to express ourselves. I believe God made us to create, or develop and express what He gave us when He created us. We have to sing, write, build, or bake, even if no one ever sees.

To bridge the gap…

We can also bridge the gap between generations. Each of us needs to speak truth into the lives of not only our contemporaries but also the generations coming behind us (Psalm 78, Psalm 71). I am deeply convinced that my generation has wisdom to impart, insights to give, and experience to share with those who follow after us.  

Now, it’s obvious, because of my age and years of living, with somewhat of an inclination toward the past, that I come mostly from a senior perspective. What does that mean in my case? What would a reader typically get?

1. Good memory of past events, though inaccurate at times.

I sort of pride myself on my recall of history, both personal and otherwise. I do remember things pretty well, though at times I need to get a check from others who might have a better or more accurate recall. It’s always good to check one’s facts; I wish more people would do that on Facebook before sharing crazy stuff! I like to share a testimony, a lesson from history that’s perhaps not well known, an inspiring anecdote, or the story behind a song. Unknown or little known facts presented in new and insightful ways often give the reader the opportunity to learn a lesson that may be remembered longer than would otherwise be the case.

2. Nostalgia and emotion. 

I’m typically going to reflect somewhat emotionally, and I can be nostalgic. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I will, or should always give preference to the past. Sometimes a current event may have a powerful emotional tug at our heart, but I may lean more toward drawing lessons from the past, since those may otherwise be missed. I view it as a teacher. What have I learned? What have I seen that has some relevance today?

3. Seeking nuance, balance.

As I have stated frequently, one of my pet peeves is people being too dogmatic, or dogmatic about the wrong things, or failing to see both sides of a larger picture and thus not finding balance.

4. The realization that I am a sinner forgiven, and how that should guide all I do and say.

God’s grace has been extended to me throughout my life. As Steve Brown of Key Life Radio prays before his daily teaching in referring to himself: “forgive his sins, for they are many.” That’s me! That’s all of us. I should always show grace, even while sharing truth, and how I say something may be as important as what I say.

He has forgiven me.   
My sins have been washed from His memory
By the blood of the Lamb of Calvary
He has forgiven me
5. Project hope and assurance for the future.

I want to give others hope for the future through Christ and the salvation He purchased for us on the cross. I want to help others find a place of settled assurance of a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus, and ultimately want all my writing, or speaking, or living to bring Him glory.

Now I know that He is mine, and I’m His forever 
He is leading me along life’s way.
He’ll be holding to my hand when I cross death’s river
He will take the sting of death away.

  1. “He Has Forgiven Me” – Marie Armenia 1995
  2. “He is Mine and I Am His” – G.T. Speer 1965

Steve Lytle

Steve and his wife Judy have spent the majority of their ministry in Panama with Free Will Baptist International Missions. They recently retired and are hard at work serving the Lord locally. Steve is serving the elder generation of Cofer's Chapel mainly but is also involved in visiting sick, hospitalized, and shut-ins of any generation at our church. Steve is also heavily involved in the church's Hispanic ministry as a teacher and translator.

2 thoughts on ““Why I Write”: A Personal Reflection on the Impetus to Create

  • November 19, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    This is great. We all have the built-in need to create. That was a huge motivator when we started REO. Most of us just needed an outlet. I’m glad we have that outlet now and that you have captured your personal motivations for writing.

  • November 19, 2019 at 9:58 pm

    Thanks, Phill, to you and your colleagues, for the opportunity you’ve given me.


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