Show Don’t Tell (a new take)
It’s a common refrain among writers. Don’t tell readers what’s happening–show them. Imagine the difference between watching a movie and having someone tell you about it. The telling can get tedious fast, but watching it . . .
And so, when writing a story, the trick is to pull readers into the action so that they’re seeing it unfold in their imaginations.
I try to keep that in mind as I’m writing my stories. But what about when I’m living my life?
Last week I read I Peter 2:11-12 – Dear friends, I urge you . . . to abstain from sinful desires . . . Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
And it occurred to me that this is the biblical version of “show, don’t tell.” Sure, it’s important to share the gospel. To tell people the good news. But it’s even more important to live it in such a way that people SEE the gospel.
I can tell people all day long what God says about love, but how much more will they understand it if I, in fact, reflect his love through my treatment of them?
We live in a world where people are eager to tell each other how to live. Everyone has an opinion and altogether too many platforms for sharing it. Wouldn’t it be nice if we stopped telling it each other what to do and simply lived out our beliefs?
Showing instead of telling.