A few concise yet solid reasons why writing letters is worthwhile
Created by Jon Taylor - Wednesday 12 Jun 2019
Jon Taylor
A few concise yet solid reasons why writing letters is worthwhile  
There is much biblical precedent for writing letters and a skilfully and prayerfully worded letter can have a great influence for good. I can testify of having been greatly encouraged by receiving timely notes of encouragement. In addition, there was a time when I quipped that it would in theory be a brilliant idea to write to people in high positions of power or even royalty, though the likelihood of obtaining a response was remote.  A friend frankly yet humbly responded that she had written to a member of royalty and received a response and even one that was meaningful.
1 New Testament letters
Obviously, this is a hypothetical point since God has determined that his Word should be revealed to mankind, but imagine what would have happened if Paul, Peter, John, James and Jude hadn’t written their epistles. This alone should be an exhortation for us to write letters both to encourage and strengthen fellow believers in the faith and also write to those in authority presenting a biblical worldview to challenge the many evils of society.
2 Letters of influence in the Medo-Persian Empire
When someone states that ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’, that may speedily be dismissed as a cliché. The books of the Bible set in the Medo-Persian empire, however, contain a number of influential letters intended for good or ill. If we stopped to consider the war of letters and decrees being passed and revoked, this would have a sobering affect on us and motivate us to begin writing.
In Ezra, the root of the resistance to the rebuilding of Jerusalem commenced by writing letters to Ahasuerus and Artaxerxes (Ezra 4:6-7). Letters were then written to Darius to put a halt to the vital work (Ezra 5:6-17). Through God’s providence Darius wrote back commanding Judah’s frustraters to leave them alone and for the Jews to continue with building God’s house (Ezra 6:1-12). Nehemiah requested that letters be given to him for the governors of the region beyond the River Euphrates so he could rebuild the shattered wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:7-10). Esther pleaded with Artaxerxes to revoke the letters devised by Haman to annihilate the Jews and Esther and Mordecai were given permission to write a decree in the king’s name and seal it with the king’s signet ring enabling the Jews to defend themselves, which were sent to the one hundred and twenty seven provinces of the empire (Esther 8:1-18).
3 Writing letters today
Missionary biographies written over the years often contain records of communications that still speak to us now. Meaningful, worthwhile and influential letters could and should be written today. Words spoken aloud are at times forgotten, yet a good letter can provide ongoing encouragement. A letter is personal, and letters also provide useful records. When Darius made a search from the archives, he found an important decree issued by Cyrus which convinced him to write a letter enabling the rebuilding of Jerusalem to continue.
Today, this may take the form of a timely and important letter to a fellow believer. It may also be a letter to a non- believer explaining the reason for the hope within us. It could also mean making use of Christian Concern or the Christian Institute’s template guidelines to writing to MP’s or penning an appropriate response to the undermining of Christian freedoms or aspects of morality being called into question. In short, a prayerfully, biblically centred letter can have great influence for good or be used to restrain evil.
Wednesday 12 Jun 2019