[Once again, I’m writing when I should be sleeping.]
I grew up reading everything within my reach. Our weekly trips to the library were the highlight of my life. Every book was carefully reviewed by my parents to make sure it met certain criteria. There was to be no inappropriate behavior or words. For the most part, most of the children’s books back then were fairly decent. At least, at my library they were.
Pretty soon though, I grew out of those stories. Pretty soon I wanted more than frivolity. Thus began my first big step out of kids’ books and into fiction as a true genre. Be assured, I read much more than just fiction. And the fiction I read was mostly historical fiction that I actually learned a lot from. And don’t get me wrong, reading is awesome. Everyone should do more reading. Reading changes everything.
But fiction destroys everything.
Let me explain. Pretty soon, fiction became kind of a drug. It gives the reader an emotional high, then when the book is over, leaves them down and needing more and thus begins a vicious cycle. The biggest problem for me, became love stories. I mean, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good love story with starry skies and a happy ending? This spilled over into my other entertainment and I began to especially enjoy romance movies. We never really watched romance movies, but there is always some aspect of it in every movie.
The problem with fiction and movies (which are fiction) is that they give readers a construed picture of life. Love doesn’t always triumph. Love isn’t always easy. Love isn’t always dramatic. Life isn’t always exciting. Love is ultimately a choice and that “perfect other” will never come around. These are the lies fiction–through whatever medium it gets to us–tells us.
What’s even more dangerous is its lasting effects on the reader’s spirituality. Fiction, from personal experience, can make the Bible seem dull and boring. It can wreak havoc with the imagination and destroy the conscience.
If the intellectual and moral tastes have been perverted by over-wrought and exciting tales of fiction so that there is a disinclination to apply the mind, there is a battle to be fought to overcome this habit. A love for fictitious reading should be overcome at once. [AH 412]
It wasn’t until high school that I discovered Sister White’s counsels on fiction–actually at my mother’s direction. It wasn’t easy, but I was convicted so I quit fiction. It has been a slow process with God slowly working to free me of it in all its avenues of my life.
But I highly recommend it. Fiction does literally nothing for you. Nothing. So try it. Think about it. Chew on it.
Life isn’t fiction.