Speak Grace
By Crystal Hildebrand

Have you read Lord of the Flies?

Hate is a strong word. But ‘dislike’ is not strong enough to properly convey my feelings for that book. I never understood why, out of all great classic literature, Lord of the Flies was the required reading for many English Literary classes. Especially, in the large Toronto high school I attended, where the students were arguably already some of the most frightening and hostile citizens of society.

I made sure to make my distaste plain in my mandatory essay. Perhaps in the back corner of my mind, I was hoping to change the educator's opinion on using it for future curricula. After all, isn’t that why we write? To educate and edify the minds of others?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Lord of the Flies, it is an allegory of our sinful human nature and the evil within us. Without the rules of society, a group of teenage boys trapped on an island turn vicious and barbarous. The way they treat each other is quite disturbing, but unfortunately not unlike how we treat each other today.

Since all goodness comes from God, it is becoming harder to find in our increasingly secular society. While we shout words like acceptance and love, we have removed the only source of those things and have thus changed the meaning and power behind them. Instead, we are left with increasing demonstrations of hate. Heated social media posts, protests, blogs, and tweets that point out the sins of others in our hope to sway public opinion.

But sway to what? If we are just as angry and hostile as the world, what do we have to offer?

If our goal is to educate and edify the minds of others through our writing, let’s make sure we are coming from a place of humility. Because the reality is, that we need saving too.

1 John 4:7, the Greek says “agapetoi agapomen” which means “those who are loved, let us love.” By grace, we were saved by the love of the Father, and so, by grace, we should be speaking the truth in love, so others can come to know Him.

Christians have the opportunity to point others to the grace and peace that are only found in Christ. We have the great privilege of being vessels of the love of Christ. There is no greater message to share. But how effective is our message of hope, if our words are full of hate and malice?

The apostle Paul—arguably a pretty influential writer, says the following:

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6, NKJV).

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29, NKJV).

As you write your manuscript, I encourage you to write to proclaim the unending goodness of God and not of the iniquity of others. The world has enough books like Lord of the Flies.  

About this Contributor:

Crystal Hildebrand is a Project Manager at Word Alive Press. She is an avid reader and writer who enjoys coffee, book clubs, and her sensitive wolfhound. Crystal and her husband of twenty years live in rural Manitoba with their two very busy teenagers.


  • Most excellent words and thoughts—and that’s because it’s Biblical. Thank you for encouraging others to obey God’s commands clearly written in His Word. I needed to “hear” this today.

    Pam Johnson
  • Thank you for being an uplifting writer. Grace to be kind and respectful is my prayer.

    Tamara Wanner

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