by Shirley Gould
Scripture tells us in John 21:25 in the Message Bible…
There are so many other things Jesus did. If they were written down, each of them, one by one, I can’t imagine a world big enough to hold such a library of books.
Though I would never be in favor of adding one ‘jot or tittle’ to the Holy Bible, we as Christian fiction authors have an incredible opportunity literally in our hands. We spin tales, capturing readers with our prose as we weave a spiritual thread through our stories. By including an inspirational element, we are quietly reinforcing the spiritual truths we stand upon.
We must take this opportunity seriously. As we show how our characters handle the ups and downs of life inserting Christian influence and principles, we are allowing Christian readers to be enriched as they enjoy our work. Non-Christians who read our writings are given an inside look into a lifestyle and a future they could have by opening their lives to the Lord. And isn’t that our ultimate goal?
First and foremost, as writers of Christian fiction, it is vital that we nourish our personal relationships with the Lord on a regular basis. That closeness will spread into our work, feeding the spiritual aspect naturally. It will also keep us grounded as we navigate the publishing world.
As writers we can easily get overwhelmed with style, POV, grammar, and query letters. Looming deadlines have us watching the clock while word counts keep us at our keyboards pounding away. We struggle to tie all the loose ends together, to bring closure to the conflicts we have created while we write to meet the guidelines of publishers. We can get so caught up in the business of writing Christian fiction that the spiritual dynamics become blurred like a camera out of focus. The Christian aspect of our words need to be more than a kind thought or deed, more than a line of a favorite hymn, or a mention of a Christian song on the radio to impact a life. Readers today are highly entertained by social media. They tend to ignore what is not boldly proclaimed. To compete, we need to re-evaluate our efforts. For our Christian fiction to be used as a witnessing tool we must take a step back, re-establish our purpose, and prayerfully trace and strengthen the spiritual stream that flows through our pages.
Though we would never attempt to add to the Scriptures, by sharing our stories with the world we can introduce them to the Lord of the Bible. By peaking their interest in the things of God we can point them toward the Cross, to the One who can speak peace to the storms of their lives. By doing this, we are using our Christian fiction to proclaim the Christian truth. Tell me, what could be better than that?
Shirley Gould is an inspirational speaker for churches, women’s conferences, an African missionary, and a freelance journalist. She is founder of Kenya’s Kids Home for Street Children in Kenya, East Africa. She makes her home in the Nashville, Tennessee area, enjoying her three daughters, three sons-in-law, two grandchildren, Madison and Jake…and a really loud parrot.