096: Navigating the Intersection of Faith and Writing [Podcast]

Your personal beliefs are part of your identity. What you believe inevitably ends up in your art. But how do you stay true to your values without alienating your audience? It can be kind of tricky.

Navigating the Intersection of Faith and Writing

No one likes being preached at or judged. I certainly don’t. I’d much rather prefer a friendly chat over coffee to listening to someone scream at me through a megaphone.

Some of you who follow my work probably know that I’m a Christian. It’s not something I’m ashamed of, but at the same time, it isn’t the topic of this blog. For some, that has been confusing. So I dedicated an entire podcast episode to answering that question.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy and I talk about how faith informs what I create and why this is an ongoing conversation for me. Listen in as we discuss the value of a diverse community and rejecting the idea of using the “right” words.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here).

Profess truth without preaching

Most people I meet want to believe in something “more,” to believe they have a purpose, a calling, a destiny. We want to know why we are here and what our lives are about. A friend of mine years go said: “Everybody is looking for hope.”

Talking about this kind of thing with people from all walks of life are the kinds of conversations I enjoy the most — online and offline. I like talking with different people who hold diverse beliefs and ideas. Open conversations are where community is birthed, friendships are forged, and lives are changed. Those are the types of conversations I want to have.

Before Goins, Writer, I used to write on a personal blog about matters of faith and leadership. Truthfully, I felt limited by it because it closed off conversations. If people believed what I believed, they would tune in. But if they didn’t believe what I believed, they would tune out.

That is one of the reasons I’m so grateful for the diverse community of The Portfolio Life, GoinsWriter.com, and Tribe Writers. While faith inspires my creative work, it’s not the main theme. I don’t believe that’s the point of faith. It should fuel the work you do in the world, not be an end in itself.

Whatever belief system you have, even if it’s a belief in nothing, that’s still a belief. And I think it’s more powerful to give someone the opportunity to interact with that belief than it is to simply talk about the thing. It’s my opinion that we should meet as many people as possible and not seclude ourselves from those who think differently from us.

Show highlights

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Whether you should or shouldn’t talk about faith on your blog
  • How faith inspires art without being the subject of it
  • One thing everybody is looking for
  • Why two world-changing writers were at odds over faith yet remained the closest of friends
  • The difference between being ashamed of your beliefs and being intentional with your message
  • What Apple and Jesus have in common

Quotes and takeaways

  • If people want you to talk about something in a certain way, they’re never going to be happy until you talk about it their way.
  • Relationships take time to grow. Whether it’s face-to-face with a new friend or through a screen or book with a reader.
  • Belief is enough to stand on it’s own. You don’t need to sell it.
  • Through diversity we learn things about ourselves and each other, and become better versions of ourselves.


How does your faith inform your writing? How do you approach the topic in your art? Share in the comments