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I Broke My Box (A Call to Non-Conformity by M.L. Milligan)

Updated: May 28, 2023


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I'm super excited about today's post because we have a special guest on the blog! M.L. Milligan is a fellow reader, writer, and friend of mine. This post is so powerful and challenged me to take a deeper look at the things I'm consuming and putting down on paper. She has so much wisdom to share about non-conformity in the literary world, and I can't wait for you to read her thoughts!



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What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “conformity”?


Sounds painful, doesn’t it?


That’s because it is, and the sad truth is more and more people are falling into this trap.


Conformity comes in all different shapes and sizes. The way we dress, what we watch or listen to, what comes out of our mouths, what we read, and even what we start thinking. We start doing things a certain way—the way they want us to. Who are they? Glad you asked.


First, let’s start with a definition.


Conformity: /kənˈfôrmədē/ noun—action in accordance with some specified standard or authority.

“Standard.”


I think it’s safe to say those have plummeted. I don’t know about you, but I don’t exactly see righteousness and solid morals trending in today’s world. But you want to know what I do see?


Yep. Conformity. People acting within certain “standards,” which, if you ask me, shouldn’t even be called standards at all, but toxic death holes. Yes, that sounds harsh, but so is the way virtues and moral uprightness are being treated. Frankly, it’s sickening at times.


Society is trying to fit us all into boxes, and the scary thing is, it’s working. Not all of us have been taken in, no, but the amount of people they’ve crammed into conformation is frightening. Look around. It’s everywhere.


Especially in literature.


I cannot tell you how many times I’ve picked up a book, started reading, was falling in love with the characters, adored the story world, and, man, that dude better figure out whodunit before he’s next—when I had to shut it because the author felt it necessary to include some explicit detail that I really did not need to read.


It doesn’t even need to be some huge scene made a big deal of. A single curse word, a crude reference, even an inappropriate interaction—they all turn me off a book. Where are the strong moral values, the healthy family dynamic, and the pure and just language and actions in today’s literature?


What happened to glorifying Godly things, not . . . evil and darkness?


This is the very reason I started writing. I was the biggest book dragon as a kid (and I still am 😉), but it was such a struggle for my mom to find me good books to read. Not “good” as in “Wow, that plot twisted and turned more than the Incredi-coaster at Disneyland.” No, “good” as in lovely and pure and of good report.


It was tough, to say the least.


So I decided to start doing something about it. That was my original inspiration—to write the books I always wanted to read. Books that are adventurous and fun and seat-of-your-pants oh-my-gosh-what’s-gonna-happen-next action, but that have strong values, moral uprightness, and the characteristics of a follower of the King.


Books that they don’t want to be trending.


Books that attack the very things they’re trying to shove down our throats.


I know what you’re thinking. "Wait, slow down, hold up a second. Who exactly are “they”, Mac? Who are these beasts trying to cram us into labelable, controllable little boxes?"


The short answer? The world.


Jesus calls us to be set apart for Him. In the world, but not of it. Romans 12:2 directly states, “Be not conformed to this world.” It doesn’t get much clearer than that.


So tell me why we’re caving into this.


Why are we, as children of the Most High, falling prey to what the world says we should look like, talk like, act like—write like? Is it because it looks cool? Because we don’t want people to look at us weirdly for acting differently?


My friend, I have a verse for you.


1 John 3:13. “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hates you.”


Marvel not. Don’t wonder, Paul wrote in his letter, if people hate you. Don’t think it’s some big mystery. As one of the largest Christian-persecutor-turned-follower of Christ in that day, I have no doubt Paul saw some major hate in his lifetime. Hate for what he did, hate for what he preached. Hate for Who he followed.


Are some people going to hate you for not conforming to society’s ideals? For saying no to the trendy new styles and accepted norm? For not writing books with language and content and shock appeal, just for kicks? Yes. Without question. But you know what? Jesus had a message for those such people.


Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)


I find those words such a beautiful promise.


My friend, don’t let them conform you into a box. Be unique and awesome in who the Lord made you to be, and not how the world says you should be. Push back against the people and influences that tell you you are anything short of the child of the King, that say you have to change, that say the values you cherish are worthless.


Break the box they try to force you into.


Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven” for so persecuted were they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:11)




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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A reader of as many genres as she pens, M.L. Milligan is on a quest to bring about stories that both excite and inspire. Her Lord and Savior is her strongest weapon, and her favorite treat either a cup of coffee or a bowl of popcorn with a movie—Okay, and getting a new book. This desert-loving gal makes her home in the Sagebrush State, surrounding herself with endless amounts of books and an increasing number of rescues. Connect with her at Author | M.L. Milligan (mlmilligan.wixsite.com).




Check out Mac's NEWSLETTER and GOODREADS!



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LET'S TALK

What are your thoughts on non-conformity? What are some of your favorite books and why? Have you ever read a novel that negatively impacted you? Where do YOU find inspiration for your stories? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!




Now go change the world,

-Ava



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6 комментариев


Deigan Marie
Deigan Marie
26 мая 2023 г.

Lovely, lovely post, girls!! I loved it so much! <3

Лайк
Ava Hope
Ava Hope
27 мая 2023 г.
Ответ пользователю

Aww, thank you, Deigan! Mac did a beautiful job❤️ I'm so glad you loved it!

Лайк

Saraina Whitney
Saraina Whitney
26 мая 2023 г.

Incredible post!!! Amen to all of it!!!

Лайк
Ava Hope
Ava Hope
27 мая 2023 г.
Ответ пользователю

Yess, it's so powerful!! Thank you so much for reading! ❤️

Лайк

Sienna W
Sienna W
26 мая 2023 г.

Amen! This was such a good article. 💜 Thanks!

Yep, stories definitely have the ability to drag us down or point us upwards. I have read a few books that impacted me negatively, which made me want to write God-honoring fiction all the more! That’s part of what inspires me as an author, because it’s so important for there to be more clean, inspiring novels pumped into the market! 😊

Лайк
Ava Hope
Ava Hope
27 мая 2023 г.
Ответ пользователю

Yess, amen! I'm so grateful for Mac writing it! ❤️


Same here. I love that, Sienna! It's so true. 😊 Thank you so much for reading!

Лайк
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