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Every month we have an optional question. Here it is:
In your writing, where do you draw the line, with either topics or language?
For the past 25 years I’ve concentrated on clean or Christian fiction so the line is drawn for me. I want to use my gifts and talents to point nonbelievers to the Lord through the actions of my characters. I enjoy writing material that I can share with family and friends—even my pastor— without being embarrassed by its content.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Many writers believe they have to use profanity in their thrillers, mysteries, horror fiction etc. because everyone curses in real life. Mmmm, that’s not exactly true. Many of us have left the potty mouth behind and see no reason to resurrect it even for our characters. We’ve learned there are other ways to show frustration, violence, rage, stupidity, and evil without using a curse, especially taking God’s name in vain!
“You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
Several years ago I belonged to a critique group that met once a week at a local coffee shop. One day we were discussing a story that had God’s name in vain a time or two. One of our writers handed the manuscript to the author and said: “I can’t read this. I don’t want to put that in my mind. I would hate to die with that word having passed through my lips, or in my mind or heart.”
She offered this in front of nine or ten other writers, and I remember thinking how brave she was, and wishing I’d been that bold for Christ. She died unexpectantly a few weeks later.
I think of her often and how she stood up for her beliefs.
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
I think we all agree that writing, creating our stories is fun, but it’s also hard work. But honestly, in the grand scheme of things …
I hope we all choose our words wisely—with the end in mind. Of course you realize, I’m not talking about the end of our stories and books.
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.