Because I’m a writer, occasionally a friend will say to me, “I want to write a book someday.”
“That’s a worthy goal,” I reply, “and I hope you do write a book. But it’s better to be one than to write one.”
I’m thinking of the apostle Paul’s words: “Clearly you are an epistle of Christ . . . written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2 Cor. 3:3).
In his book The Practice of Piety, Lewis Bayly, chaplain to England’s King James I, said that “one who hopes to effect any good by his writings” will find that he will “instruct very few. . . . The most powerful means, therefore, of promoting what is good is by example. . . . One man in a thousand can write a book to instruct his neighbors. . . . But every man can be a pattern of living excellence to those around him.”
The work that Christ is doing in believers can result in an influence far greater than any book they might write. Through God’s Word, written “on their hearts” (Jer. 31:33), the Lord is displaying His love and goodness for all to see.
As a Christian, you may never write a book, but by living for God you will be one! You will be an open book, an “epistle of Christ” for all to read.