Paul’s great “meditation” verse: whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable–“if there is moral excellence, if there is any praise–dwell on these things” (HCSB). With the news as bad as it has been these days, and the ease with which I can descend into negativity, I decided I would learn to live under the Philippians 4:8 command.
Then I started picking the proverbial fly specks out of the pepper: I write fiction. “Whatever is true” has to land in my work somewhere, in the work of every fiction author. For some authors, it’s a simulacrum of truth–“truth” as they see it; for others, it’s a universal truth–even if it’s a bit skewed: the truth of the hope of falling in an everlasting love, the truth of the hope that the bad guy will get caught and punished. The actuality of either may not happen, but the truth is that the hope is always there.
Authors of Christian fiction write about truth with a capital T. We focus on God’s truth and on how we can rely on it. We present facts and apply His principles. We recognize that, while we are in this physical realm, things aren’t always rosy. Beauty is tarnished, happiness is fleeting. The only constant we can rely on is God’s guidance.
So that’s what we write about: being led by God through this tarnished world. We pick away at society’s interpretation of “truth” so we can present the only source of Truth. We turn aside from society’s easy road to present the one less traveled. It’s a big task, a tall order. It requires us to know Truth intimately enough to present it to those who don’t–to those who would pick away at our interpretation, to those who would return to that easy road.
“Whatsoever things are true” is utmost in our minds. Present the problem. Illustrate society’s remedy. Illustrate why it fails. Present the True remedy. To be able to do this, we must dwell in depth on “whatsoever things are true.”
Funny. I was actually just thinking about this verse the other day. I like Stephen King’s quote about how writers use lies to tell the truth – or something like that.
Telling the truth through lies. I’ve heard that quote, but can’t remember how it goes.
Absolutely. Truth as many may not have seen it . And who doesn’t love a good story with a moral that doesn’t reach up and slap you in the face, but gives you a nudge, a whisper and makes you look at yourself and the world just a bit different? Good advise, Linda!
There ya go–a nudge and a whisper. That’s the best kind of Christian fiction!