At our prayer meeting yesterday, a friend read Psalm 101, focusing specifically on these words: “I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar” (Psalm 101:2-3). It certainly sparked a good discussion, and it got me thinking: How does that work for me, and anyone like me who’s a writer?
If you’re a writer, particularly if you write fiction, you’re weaving together stories with different characters, not all of whom are Christians. You might also read stories like this or watch them on TV. (Some view TV as a waste of time, but for a writer, it can be research.) Someone told me at a wedding once: “Glorify God in whatever you do”, but how do we craft our stories in order to glorify God?
Lately, I’ve enjoyed watching “Blue Heelers” – an Australian police drama. People who know me won’t be surprised to hear that, because I seem to keep talking about it. Of course there are crimes they have to solve, but it mainly focuses on the private lives of those at the station. I love how relatable the characters are. My favourite (Ben) was raised in the Salvation Army. He’s not following Jesus as an adult, but when he sees someone needs a bit of extra support, he’s there. He reminds me of something one of my music teachers used to say. “If you’re going to make a mistake, make a big one!” He absolutely puts his heart into everything he does. At one point he has an affair with the wife of one of his superiors, which he initially regrets, but she persuades him to keep seeing her. Over several episodes, we’re shown the fallout from that, and honestly it’s so well-written.
“I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.” In God’s eyes, surely all wrongdoing (or sin) is vile and vulgar. As a Christian, then, should I avoid storylines such as the one I just wrote about? Or can I glorify God by doing what the writers of “Blue Heelers” appear to have done – treating it as unacceptable and showing the mistake, but also showing its consequences? I’m not sure there’s a right or wrong answer.
When we discussed it yesterday, another friend quoted her grandma. “If Jesus came back, would He be happy with what you were doing and where you were?” I definitely do think about that, and of course Jesus is with us always, but personally, I’ve been ok about watching a programme like that with Him. I think He might appreciate the quality of the writing – not the sin, but the way it was dealt with.
What do you think?