Friday, November 21, 2014

A Story to Share or Truth to Teach?

I challenge you to read the title of this article again and think about it for ten seconds.

As a Christian writer, what is your goal in writing? Do you simply want to share good stories? or do you want to impart to your readers truth?

Many young Christian writers admit that they do not just want to write the moral stories they find themselves churning out, but they want to share God's truth. But many of them are clueless in how to do this. And they surely do not want to sound like those stiff books in which all of the characters are well-behaved, memorizing hundreds of verses a day, mourning over an ounce of sin, and living an impossibly perfect life (okay, so perhaps that is an exaggeration).

As I pondered this situation, I realized something: how can we write good, solid Christian books if we are not striving to live a good, solid Christian life? How can we impart to our readers truths from God's Word if we do not even know what these truths are?

So often, we get so wrapped up in the writing process that we neglect our writing purpose. To write Christian stories, we must be grounded in God's Word. This does not mean to merely look up a few verses if your character is learning about forgiveness. What does your daily devotion life looks like? Are you actively reading, memorizing, studying, and learning from God's Word?

In writing, does your plot detract from the message? Is there an element in the story that pulls your reader's attention away from Christ and places it on something that is but to fade away? Is your message clear? or will your writer come away with, "Well ... she quoted a lot of Bible verses..."? You do not have to strive for some big, theological truth. What lessons has God taught you? Those are important lessons too that you can share with others.

As you ponder these questions, I encourage you to pray for God's direction in your writing. What truths would He have you to teach? Which Scriptures would He have you to use? May He lead you as you seek Him and may all of your writing bring glory to His Name!

Extra: Many novels are written today under the name "Christian," but if God is only mentioned once or twice and prayed to only during troubles, can it really qualify for a "Christian" book?

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