He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Many lifetimes ago, I tried my hand at writing fiction.
I wrote a short novel and send it off to an agent. After reading it, he sent back a review. “Your characters aren’t compelling. They don’t draw me in. I’m not made to feel for them.” He went on to explain that they hadn’t gone through any suffering and struggle.
Well, I happened to like the characters I’d created, and I didn’t want them to suffer or struggle. Do you or I want to? Of course not. So why should my characters?
Hence, I gave up my budding writing career.
But the agent knew what he was talking about, as did Paul in today’s verse, and as do you.
If we wrote a novel about our lives, we wouldn’t want to put in too much questioning, searching, crying, struggling. We’d want to put in an abundance of sunny days, blue skies, and ice cream sundaes.
Of course if that were our lives, then we’d spend our final years essentially the same as our early ones. Same thoughts, lifestyle, friends, character.
It does take the difficult times for God to break through our default setting of seeking ease and comfort. Those difficult times expose the “weaknesses” of our character we try to conceal. They also call upon the strengths of our character that we wouldn’t otherwise notice.
I’m convinced that our darkest times also bring out the creativity, productivity, empathy, and compassion that reside within us.
What has God brought out in you during the stormy times in your life? How has God shaped you into a compelling character?
8 thoughts on “MONDAY MEDITATION: Creating a Compelling Character (February 22)”
Through my own struggles God has given me more compassion toward my fellow human beings, and sensitized me to the pain I perceive in other people’s lives. His love for me in spite of my own unworthiness helps me see the worth in others. Thank you, Greg.
What a wonderful reflection, Bill. Thanks for sharing.
Very compelling thoughts in todays meditation. How often I have found though those struggles I have found motivation to become motivated to be a voice or do something for others whos struggles are far greater than mine. I make regular donations to Circle of Concern now .. drive my bag of items down to Valley Park myself..it might be one bag but it is one bag more than that person who is receiving had. It helps to give to those who are struggling.. it sure makes me feel that my struggles are far less important.
Thanks for sharing, Susan. Maybe what you’ve described is how many acts of compassion and service begin.
Compelling stories come from overcoming a conflict of some kind. It may be a conflict with another person, or a conflict with one’s own internal demons.
Amen–which again is why I can’t write fiction!
Don’t listen to those editors. I really appreciate your writing. Keep it up.
You’re kind, but I’ll stick to non-fiction!