Regular nibbles from the Bible. . .come for a bite, leave with an appetite

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. (Psalm 19:14, MSG)

Friday, March 7, 2014

OUT OF FOCUS (Matthew 23)

Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that’s wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons? 23-24

This verse struck me as a writer. It's in the middle of Jesus's diatribe against the Pharisees and other religious leaders.

I have a friend who says her critique group will argue over the placement of a comma for hours. I just don't get it.

Don't misunderstand me. Grammar is important, and I'm blessed to have a pretty good handle on the rules of the English language.

But when would-be writers tell me they don't dare try because they don't use good grammar, I want to shake sense into their heads. Yes, editors want to see "clean" manuscripts, ones without mistakes that would force spell-check to bury the page in a flood of red blood.

Are there not computer programs to check grammar? Are there not critique partners to point out what the computer misses? Are there not classes and books to study until at last you master the language?

A writer must have a story, one that forces her to write. He can gain grammar skills. She can improve her story-telling gift. But not everyone who understands grammar can write.

Jesus accuses the religious leaders of the same mistake. They understood commas and semi-colons to the nth degree. They taught every one around them the laws. But they ignored the story--God's story for them, the Chosen People, and the rest of the world. 

How can someone write a story with conflict, beginning, middle and end, if all they do is tear about each sentence apart without looking at its place in the story?

How can God write our life stories if we focus solely on what is spelled out as right and wrong, and don't ask God to light the path ahead?  

Know the rules--and move forward. God is the ultimate editor. He will publish each author who signs the contract with the blood of Christ. 

Of course He doesn't ignore those mistakes, but that's a lesson for another day.

1 comment:

  1. We can be so much like that Not seeing the real story
    God bless you
    Praying for you too Be sure u change your clock tonite Saturday forward