Last week, I talked about the Prosperity Gospel (PG) and how many who talk about it have missed the point. We talk about it in this day and age about receiving the reward for giving. Go read about it if you want to know more.
Because of this false focus on the PG, many people have an issue with the prosperity gospel. They feel that the PG promotes greed and features God as someone we can get to do our bidding. Interestingly enough, I got saved when I heard the Good News through a preaching on the PG. Now you have an idea of the kind of person I was. I’ve grown a lot since then, so put away your pitch-forks and torches.
But the PG is very much misunderstood by just about anyone who’ve talked about it online. That has a lot to do with its name. With such a name, just about everyone thinks it is about wealth and ‘having’.
Christ is in the business of inward change, not outward change, therefore nothing in the Bible talks about outward action. Therefore, we have to conclude that what we call the PG is not about giving and receiving as they are outward actions.
So what should the conclusion be? I propose that God is talking about being generous, not about giving, not about receiving. Generosity is an inward attitude that is demonstrated externally, and therefore, it is a better understanding of God’s goal for us.
Let’s bring this back to writing and storytelling now. I have tried to reframe the point of the PG by talking about what I think it is truly about instead of tearing it apart. If we seek to convince people, it is easier to start on a place of agreement. People are more open to hearing from us when they think we agree with them – we see this in many people’s social media use.
It has been shown that people are spending so much time because the AI behind people’s newsfeed tend to show people what they are interested in. People won’t be shown ideas from others who oppose theirs, so you’ve gotten past the first gate-keeper – social media algorithm.
Now that you’ve gotten past their defences, people start reading. If they see that you’re tearing down their belief system, they’re turned off. However, if you show that there’s agreement, you have a captive audience and can “redirect their gaze”. You have an open door to reframe the narrative.
Let’s look at a classic movie (I term it classic because it’s over 20 years ago when it was first released). They started showing how Shrek was a classic ogre – dirty and disgusting creature which is destined to live alone. That’s the “agreement” part. Most people would think that’s the image of ogres in their minds.
From this place of agreement, the story goes on to show how Shrek isn’t just a dirty, disgusting creature. He is also a friend and someone who is capable of love. I’ll leave the summary as that as I don’t want to spoil the story for those who may not have watched the movie.
So my writing tip for you today is this – start from a place of agreement and make your point. You go fishing with something fish wants to eat, not not something that drives them away.