I really enjoyed the pastor’s sermon yesterday at church because it answered a concern I’ve been having lately. I’ve started writing “sweet” Regency romances under my pen name, Camille Elliot, which I want to aim at non-Christians. I want to tell my non-Christian readers that they don’t have to be perfect, that Jesus loves them intensely, and they are not alone.
My problem was that since I’ve been writing Christian fiction for my entire career, I wasn’t sure how to write a character’s internal conflict in a way that a non-Christian could relate to. I was toying with how to rephrase something so it wouldn’t be so “religious” sounding, or how to talk about sin in a way that wouldn’t alienate someone who dislikes the American Christian church.
The pastor’s sermon was about Matthew 5:10-12 (ESV):
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness ‘sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
His point was that people who don’t want to hear about God will revile your message no matter how you phrase it, because they see God in you (which is a good thing).
But also, if they are (maybe later) in need and their heart changes, they will then be attracted to your message and to what they see of Christ in you.
It made me realize that I should just write the books the way they’ll turn out—that I can trust God will give me the words to say. And even if the words are a bit more “religious” sounding than other secular books out there, that’s okay, as long as I am surrendered to God and vulnerable in what I write. God will draw people to Himself through my words:
(Jesus speaking) “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” —John 12:32 (ESV)
It reminded me that God will reach the people He wants to reach through my writing, and they might be different from the people He wants to reach through other authors’ writing. We each have a part to play.
My prayer for you is that God will reach the people He wants to reach through you, and that He can show them His love.