Friday, September 5, 2014

The Fear of Being Real: But I’m a Christian! (Part 4 of 4)

(This is a guest post from Peter Lundell.)

A fashionable college freshman in my church came to me after I preached and said, “I really like your sermons.”

I was curious. “I’m as old as your father. And I don’t even try to be a hipster. Why do you like my sermons?”

“Because you’re real.”

She didn’t want pizzazz or cool. She wanted authenticity. It’s the same in writing.

But when we write, we might be legitimately concerned and think: A Christian wouldn’t do that! Or a Christian wouldn’t think that! Whatever “that” is for you, I’ve probably either done it or thought it. You probably have too. So have the publishers, and so have the readers. At least some of them. Or they know someone. Or they used to.

And they deserve straight, unashamed writing from us. Whether we’re addressing drugs and human trafficking or confessing sexual sin or anger, readers need us to be honest and realistic. And they’ll love us for it. Because one of the last things Christians need to do is avoid things. Who else will bring light into darkness?

Do we write about being good, or do we write about being redeemed?

We need authenticity in all sectors. However old or uncool you may be, don’t worry. However young and cool you may be, don’t be smug. Be real. The world is so full of superficiality that people are hungry for those who are uncommonly genuine.

This is especially true in the Christian sphere. We carry the burden, whether real or imagined, of having to fit into an acceptable mold. Within that mold the things we write easily get boring and predicable.

Good news: It’s very Christian to be real. Let’s use another word for it: honesty. Or truthfulness. Or authentic. As opposed to fake, superficial, phony.

One of the great things about the Bible is how shockingly real it is with people’s sins and foibles. May that be one of the great things about your writing too. 

 —Peter Lundell, peter@PeterLundell.com

2 comments:

  1. I love this encouragement as I have struggled with "putting stuff" out there. Our education pastor was "surprised" at what I wrote in my novel. As such, it hasn't been used for a book club at my church. Yet, the story itself is redemptive and pro-life. I showed real people, struggling with issues, gritty faith that I wish I had.

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  2. Great series of posts from Peter Lundell. Thank you Peter and Cec. Father, help Your people read and heed these words: "Do we write about being good, or do we write about being redeemed?" I put a link on my Facebook page.

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