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The Checklist: A Tool of Diligence

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word For Writers

The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence. (Proverbs 14:16, NLT)

The Checklist: a tool of diligence for #writers #WritingTips with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter

A Word For Writers

Boeing’s B-17 bomber aircraft was developed in the 1930s and was later used by the United States in World War II against German targets.

Beyond its notoriety in combat, the B-17 has left another lasting mark in the aviation industry: the pre-flight checklist.

During the aircraft’s 1935 test flight, the head pilot overlooked one crucial pre-flight step. He left the gust lock open. The plane stalled and crashed, killing two crew members and injuring three. 

Boeing created a solution to prevent similar tragedies: a pre-flight checklist. Today, both new and well-seasoned pilots on all aircraft complete the steps on the checklist to ensure that a plane is ready for flight. A checklist provides a point of reference prior to complicated flights and guards against complacency for simpler aircraft.

Writers use checklists, too: to ensure that a headline is engaging … that a blog post is complete … that a grant application contains all the requested parts. You may have a personal checklist that you review as you write. A checklist is a tool of diligence that prevents apathy and helps you be thorough.

The Bible, too, has all types of checklists. 

  • A checklist of ways to grow in love (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
  • A checklist of qualities that demonstrate wisdom (James 3:17)
  • A checklist of actions that are Spirit-led (Galatians 5:22-23)

Scripture’s checklists are a tool of diligence for new believers, who may need instruction about God’s ways – and for seasoned believers, who may become desensitized, complacent, or may gloss over the many ways to grow. 

A checklist prevents pilots, writers, and Christ-followers from being careless. And it helps you develop consistency and quality.

A Wise Word

A checklist is a tool of diligence.

A Word To Pray

Gracious Father,

You desire our diligence. Thank you for giving us reference points in scripture as a guide to grow. Show me how to be diligent to use reference points to check my writing to be consistent.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.  

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