Although Jane Austen, and most specifically her novel Pride and Prejudice, are universally loved, many have not looked closely at her timeless lessons on life and relationships. The lessons drawn from this novel, as seen in my book Principles and Proverbs from Pride and Prejudice, reflect both the expertise of Jane Austen and the authority of Scripture to expose human weakness and offer solutions to the human condition. Authors’ Lounge readers may find themselves in the devotional.
As our world has drifted from the moorings of scriptural influence and the soundness of classical literature, young people have lost touch with how to view themselves with a transparent heart and mind. Elizabeth Bennet, and subsequently her suitor, Mr. Darcy, both find themselves changed by the ability to honestly scrutinize their own actions and attitudes, as well as those of family and friends. Elizabeth’s pride in her own ability to properly judge relationships melts before the honest reflections of her own faults. Mr. Darcy transforms from a man filled with haughtiness and prejudice to a humbled, loving, and thoughtful person.
My book, Principles and Proverbs from Pride and Prejudice, simply considers the transformation of the characters in Jane Austen’s novel in the light of Biblical illumination. A young person can learn to imitate the habits and attitudes of the novel’s characters and find themselves growing in honesty, humility, and transparent confidence in who they truly are as a person.
I love God’s Word and the power of its influence in my own life. I love the beauty and simplicity of the tale of Pride and Prejudice. Together, these two writings have the ability to breathe new hope and new habits of self-reflection into the life of the reader.
The power of Scripture to influence our lives has certainly been watered down by skeptics and critics of the Word of God. But in reality, Scripture is the foundation of this premise of this devotional because of the claims of Scripture itself to be alive, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. And this strength is not used to wound but to discern. Discern what? The thoughts, intentions, and motives of any human that studies it. In truth, this book was birthed from a lifetime of perusing God’s Word from my earliest childhood. And side-by-side with my love for Scripture was the love of reading as a pastime.
Classical literature was not any early first love, since I learned to read before kindergarten and most classics are geared for seasoned readers. But by the time I was reaching high school, I began loving the more complex plots of the classics. These tales have stood the test of time and share life truths that cross generations skillfully, bringing hope and insight into every fresh era of readers. And Jane Austen’s novels were among the first that I learned to love. It’s my opinion that Pride and Prejudice attracts readers with its easy-to-follow dialogue and the power of the personalities of the main characters, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.
And when the two loves collide, the love of the Word and the love of Pride and Prejudice, the results can be compounded. For in reality, the two complement one another. Scripture is all about transformation, and says so in Roman 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” And in Pride and Prejudice, as Elizabeth Bennet learns to honestly scrutinize her own weaknesses and as Mr. Darcy learns to humbly love others, transformation, growth, and maturity combine to bring together two beautiful characters and offer the attraction of selfless love to modern readers.
It is my hope that Authors’ Lounge readers enjoy the perusing of my devotional Principles and Proverbs from Pride and Prejudice and see it as a resource of insights into personal metamorphosis. Enjoy the journey, share its hope with friends and family, and look for ways to imbibe it as a facet of life’s journey.