Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Character and Plot According to God

by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28

If we were going to write an epic novel that appealed to countless generations of readers, what characters would we create? Would they be dashing or timid? Successful or defeated? A good novelist knows that a protagonist must be an enticing mixture of courage and hesitation, splendid qualities and identifiable weak points. He or she has to be true to life.

And the plot with its hero? What one plot with hundreds of subplots would make the book an adventurous, enjoyable, harrowing read? Who will defeat the evil that plagues the whole world? How will the protagonist and his crew overcome obstacle after obstacle? What will he have to give up in order to achieve victory?

God happens to be a brilliant writer. His story is not one with fictional characters, for His story has played out through history. And it continues today.

God’s “characters”? One man of faith, Abraham, who was willing to leave behind everything he knew and take his family to a land that only God could tell him how to find. A nation, bruised and battered by an oppressive force, then released by the mighty hand of God Himself. A nation once grateful for deliverance but who chose rebellion in the wilderness.

And then, at the climatic point in God’s story, a young virgin engaged to a carpenter. An angel of God speaking priceless words after four hundred years of silence. A groom willing to take God’s word to heart and keep his true love instead of quietly cutting her loose.

God’s list of unusual characters doesn’t end there. Raggedy but grateful shepherds. Foreign but wise, wise men. Uneducated but believing disciples.

And the plot with its Hero? A race of human beings without hope and doomed to eternal destruction, needing a Savior. Someone like them but not quite. Someone human as they are, but without that one weak point that drives each soul past God’s boundaries and over the cliff into hopelessness—sin. A Protagonist whose soul agonized at the cost of victory but willingly gave His life to achieve it.

Act One brought the world into existence. Act Two brought the Savior into the world. Act Three will be God’s final destruction of all evil and the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. We, in this generation, are living the chapters that precede Act Three. What are we doing to tell the world about the Author of salvation and the free gift He offers to every person who believes in His Son?

And what a gift! To be a part of God’s grand redemption plan. To know the Author Himself. To allow Him to direct our story, so we have the most joy, peace, and victory. So we become “characters” in the grand narrative that help achieve God’s purpose for mankind.

This Christmas as you decorate your house with a Nativity set, think about the characters and the part they played in the plot. Then think about your place in God’s story. Let’s allow an appreciation for God’s master story to stir within us a celebration of His Son and a passion to do our part in His kingdom. Too many haven’t heard the story, or they don’t know how it applies to them. So keep writing and keep living, fellow “character.” The story isn’t over yet.

Allow an appreciation for God's master story to inspire the writer with us - @KatyKauffman28 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Character and Plot according to God - insight from author @KatyKauffman28 on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Katy Kauffman is an award-winning author and a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies, a ministry which seeks to connect people to God through His Word. She has taught the Bible to women and teens, and has published two Bible studies on winning life’s spiritual battles. Her newest release, Breaking the Chains, is a compilation on how to overcome spiritual bondage. Katy is also an editor and a designer of Refresh Bible Study Magazine. She makes her home near Atlanta, Georgia.


  1. You should explore this blog for even more writing tips and research paper writing articles.

  2. What a spectacular and exciting way to summarize the Gospel and make it relevant to our lives.
    Great post, Katy.
    You describe the Bible as the ultimate blockbuster book (which it is!).
    Great job!

    1. Thank you, Ingmar! God is a master author. Hope you are having a good Christmas season.

  3. Ms. Katy. Beautiful. In nonfiction works, the protagonist is just as crucial. I love it! I also love your use of the word "raggedy." Isn't it amazing how God can use a raggedy person like me in His kingdom. Thank you so very much. Perhaps I understand even more why the Bible is my favorite reading material. God's blessings ma'am.

    1. Thank you, Jim. I think it's essential to transfer some fiction skills into our nonfiction writing, don't you? I am realizing that more and more. Thank you for your comment, and God bless you this Christmas and in the new year.

  4. Thanks for these words of encouragement and insight, Katy! I needed them today!

    1. I'm so glad you found the post, and it blessed you. Thanks for telling us! Happy New Year, Jarm!