Let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. ~James 3:13-18
Today we will look at being false to the truth. Some may say, “I write fiction. It’s not truth anyway.”
Consider this quote from E.M. Forster in Aspects of the Novel.: “We cannot understand each other, except in a rough and ready way. But in a novel we can know people perfectly. . . . In this direction fiction is truer than history, because it goes beyond the evidence, and each of us knows from his experience that there is something beyond the evidence.” (Emphasis mine.)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. John 14:6
When we pattern our lives on his, we will be living the truth. When we live the truth, we can write the truth.
Larry Bird once said, “I don't know if I practiced more than anybody, but I sure practiced enough. I still wonder if somebody - somewhere - was practicing more than me.” And just as basketball players are first taught the basics and then practices, sometimes daily, for years and years until dribbling and shooting become second nature, so must we practice our Christian living.
We learn what to do by studying the Bible, and then we live it out in our everyday lives.
And then we, as Christian writers, write it.
It simply becomes second nature.
I’ve mentioned before that books and movies achieve greatness when they have underlying moral premises. When the movie or book, the story, rings false to the audience, to those underlying moral premises that we all understand, the movie or book will flop, no matter the technical skills employed.
And those are the moral premises we find in the Bible. The moral premises that Jesus displayed.
Jesus—the one who displayed the truth.
Let us, as Christian writers, never be false to the truth.
Our test for today:
Next week, we’ll finish up this series. Are you ready for the final?