Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Joys of Fiction

Ever feel a little twinge of guilt while reading fiction? Of course we need to read the good books on marriage and parenting sometimes. We need to challenge ourselves to dig out those deep issues that are holding us back spiritually and emotionally. We need the encouragement of those godly men and women whose lives are a testimony of the grace of God.

But sometimes we need a work of fiction. I'm not talking about the common trash that passes for fiction these days. Full of immortality, pettiness, foul language, and teenage style drama. Leave those  on the shelf at the bookstore. Those will not enhance us.

Why not enjoy a good Christian novel? Or a classic work of fiction? Even an occasional clean secular work (if you can find it)? What is the benefit it will give us?

1.  It can lighten the soul.
People have so much daily stress in their lives. We put much of it there ourselves. Just feel the tension roll off as you sit down in the evening to read a work of pure imagination.

2.   It can free the imagination.

Turn off the remote. Play some soothing instrumental music in the background and get totally immersed in your own imaginary world for a few moments. When was the last time that happened?

3.  It can take you to places you may never see in this life.

I have always wanted to travel to Great Britain. That may or may not happen but I have visited there many times in books.

4.  It can illuminate a situation in which you find yourself.

You may suddenly realize you are in a similar situation in your own life, and this fictional scenario will help you picture a solution to a very real problem.  I had this happen to me just last evening.

5.  It can speak to the heart.

With our guard down just a little we find we are more receptive to hearing a truth we have needed to face for some time. Maybe it will challenge us to take action to assist others in their plight.

There are many other joys to be found in fiction. I'm sure I could elaborate on this subject all day. What comes to your mind? We would love to hear your thoughts.

Some of the best works fiction I have read were by...


George MacDonald
Michael Phillips
Jan Karen
Karen Kingsbury
Robin Jones Gunn
Janette Oke
Christmas Carol Kauffman
Lori Wick
Beverly Lewis
Francena Arnold
Elizabeth Prentiss
Grace Livinston Hill


LM Montgomery
Martha Finley
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Jane Austen
William Shakespeare
Charles Dickens
George MacDonald

Give them a try.


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