Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Value You Place

I've often had people tell me that they don't read Christian fiction because you can't learn anything about God from those books.


Some of the things I have learned best have at least had their beginning through reading a Christian fiction novel. Here are some of my thoughts on this:

1. As you read a book you begin to walk with the characters through their "life" (yes, it's fictitious, but for that time you are in the pages they have become real), and as you do, the lessons they are "learning" become absorbed into your subconscious or even take hold of your conscious thoughts.

A character will "share part of their life story" with another character and that becomes real - it's like when someone shares their story with you and you realise that they have dealt with an issue like you are currently facing and you ask them for advice (of course, you can't ask the character for advice, but the other character either does that or offers their story of how they coped/dealt with something).

In the case of a novel, the struggles a character is having and the way they allow God into their life can challenge/encourage/motivate you to do the same.

Some authors will even have their characters going to church and put in the book parts of the sermon they are listening to - which will generally have been a sermon the author has personally heard when they were attending church one Sunday. Lori Wick is one such author.

Others who have really impacted me through their novels include Robin Jones Gunn, Dee Henderson, Irene Hannon, Cathy Marie Hake, Janette Oke and Colleen L Reece.

Many of the novels on my shelves have little post-it-note tags where I have found something that impacted my life and got me thinking more about God, learning more about His character or things I can listen to, learn from and put in practice in my life.

2. If you are witnessing to someone, they may not willingly pick up a Bible to read, however a well chosen novel that gives a clear Gospel message can be a way to share with them in a way that is not so obvious, but nonetheless powerful and effective.

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