Proverbs is packed with many wise sayings from King Solomon. These verses show the results of God’s question of the king of what he wanted. Solomon asked for wisdom. He was known as the person who had the most wisdom in making decisions, more than anyone before or after him.
In an earlier exercise, we discussed the sage or wise character that we as writers often include in our stories. This character influences our hero or heroine in hopefully positive ways.
Now, let’s focus on the actual wisdom we might impart through our stories. As Christian writers, we want to make sure that any truths we share are in line with God’s Word. However, we should also strive to insure that our stories don’t become preachy.
Let’s consider an example. Suppose we want to base a section of our work in progress on Proverbs 19:3 which states: “A man’s folly ruins his life, yet his heart rages against the Lord.” In The Message this same verse is quoted this way: “People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed?”
In this case, the writer would first show the character and her flaw. Then, that character would be involved in scenes in which she would blame God through internal dialogue and through dialogue with others. As the story unfolds, that character would somehow encounter the truth of the fact that she was responsible not God. This truth could be driven home by the character finding scripture that tells this or maybe a friend speaks openly with her. She could even learn this vicariously by observing another person going through a similar circumstance.
Two keys here: Make sure that the truth is in line with the Word of God. And, make sure that excessive dialogue or scripture quoting doesn’t occur, sounding preachy.
Why not give it try? Open your Bible to Proverbs. Skim for a truth that your character could learn. Now, create the scenario in which your character either shows the flaw or does something wrong which will have to be confronted or changed. Now, how can you get the truth presented to your character naturally and truthfully?
Let’s face it. An entire book could be based upon one truth from Proverbs learned by your main character.
As Christian writers, we are faced with the responsibility of presenting God’s truths correctly. How can this be accomplished? We must follow the advice given by our Lord when He says, “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask for it.” We must always be in an attitude of learning from God. We must utilize His textbook daily to ingest the wisdom and truth. A Christian writer will find it difficult to write the truth if he or she isn’t being nourished with it.