Their goal? Sales. Their method? Make us believe we’d be a lot happier if we bought their product.
Satan does the same thing. He just has a less attractive goal. He wants to destroy our relationship with God. And if he can destroy our relationship with others and make God look bad in the process, that would be nice too.
And so he manipulates. Tempts. Lies. Anything to get us to believe that his way is better than God’s way.
He especially wants anyone involved in ministry to believe his lies – because if we believe them, we have the potential to lead millions astray – or at least tens or hundreds, depending on how big our ministry is.
Lies that Look Like Truth
The problem – and this is why Satan is so successful – is that it’s hard to recognize his lies. They don’t look like lies. Why? Because we’ve grown up with them. They’re everywhere. We’ve seen them so often, we don’t even see them anymore. In fact, they look like truth.
For the past six months I’ve been working through some of these lies in my own life – trying to figure out why writing a Christian blog is so hard. Why it has a tendency to take me away from God when it should be something that draws me toward him.
As I looked through my journals in preparation for this blog, I saw the same lies and temptations coming up again and again. I talked to other bloggers and ministry leaders. They were going through the same struggles and gave me a few more to think about. See if you can relate.
10 Temptations of Christian Bloggers and Ministry Leaders
- People pleasing: avoiding certain subjects because we know they’ll make people mad, trying to make everything fun so people will like us, worrying more about what people think than what God thinks.
- Compulsive Stat Checking: obsession with blog stats, church/ministry attendance numbers, or the number of people going forward each week.
- Comparison: defining ourselves by the number of people who come to our blog/ministry, feeling like we’re only as good as the number of people who come.
- Escape: turning to our favorite coping techniques to escape the frustrations of ministry, writing, and platform building rather than going to God for help with those frustrations.
- Entitlement: feeling like we shouldn’t have to do hard things or deal with unpleasant people, feeling like we deserve to be rewarded for our efforts.
- Ignoring God: spending so much time on ministry/platform building we don’t have time for God, writing/speaking in our own strength, discipling without being a disciple, rushing through quiet times so we can get on to other things.
- Obsession: spending so much time writing, platform building, and doing ministry that our relationships with God and others suffer, making an idol of writing, ministry, blogging, or success.
- Pride: feeling like we know it all, being unwilling to look at other ways of doing things, writing others off just because they disagree with us.
- Self-Serving Motives: doing ministry for non-loving-God-and-others motives.
- Procrastination: putting off things God wants us to do, always planning to do them later and never doing them, focusing on the fun parts of ministry/blogging and ignoring the rest.
These are the issues we’ll be talking about over the next couple of months. The list is daunting, but thank God, we have His promise: greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world. I’m excited to see what He’ll teach us as we delve into His Word and learn from Him and each other during this series.
If you know anyone who would be interested in this discussion, please invite them to join us – or share this post on Facebook or Twitter. Thanks!
2016 Update: Since this post, I’ve written a book, The Renewing of the Mind Project, that I use to renew my mind about my struggles with writing. If you’d like to see a list of the blog posts on blogging and ministry, click here.
Questions: Does blogging and ministry bring you closer to God or further from Him? Can you relate to any of these temptations? Are there any I missed?