In last week’s comments, many of you suggested writing for an audience of One as a way to not get discouraged about blog stats and comments.
So before I started writing just now, I paused to focus on God. Here’s what I discovered in that first second of focusing:
I can’t write for God and others at the same time.
This is a revelation. It seems crazy. After all, isn’t a blog kind of like a letter? And don’t we usually think of the ones we’re writing to when we write letters?
The obvious answer is yes. There’s just one problem. When we blog, we’re not writing a letter to just one person. We’re putting it out there for the whole world to see.
Anyone can read it. Even the people who know us and tend to be critical of us. Even the people who know us and think we’re a little crazy for writing what we write.
Those are the people I think of when I get in front of the computer to write. And that’s why I get insecure – because I love those people, and I don’t want them to condemn me.
So – until I get to the point of not letting that bother me – and maybe even afterwards, I think I’ll try writing my posts for God.
Because when I write for Him, I see eyes filled with love, eyes filled with understanding, and eyes filled with acceptance.
Which is really nice on the days I’m afraid everyone else’s eyes are filled with condemnation.
Question for bloggers: Do you ever worry about what people think when you post your blog? If so, how does that affects your blogging? How do you get over it? Do you have any tips on how to write in fellowship with God?
Question for ministry leaders: Are you ever tempted to water down your subject because you know someone in your group will criticize what you have to say? How does the fear of criticism affect your ministry?
P.S. It just occurred to me that I could write for God and others at the same time as long as I was willing to be condemned – and that if I want to love well, I need to be willing to be condemned.
I do worry some about what people think, especially at first. I worry more about my political posts than my religious ones. Not sure why because both are likely to be criticized. I have to have faith and confidence that God has my back, that I’m not alone.
Blogging has definitely gotten me to trust God more but each day is a journey and each day I have to decide if I will let Him lead me. Days when I “hurry” through writing posts or commenting on others blogs I feel frazzled and have found I have left myself more open to attacks. I have been attacked on someone else’s blog, an entire blog post dedicated to me. Guess I should feel honored my comment evoked such passion and discussion, but sadly it only hurt. Thankfully, God helped me through it and I guess I’m stronger for it. :)
I like what you said, TC – “Each day I have to decide if I will let Him lead me.” Interesting that you worry more about your political blogs than your religious blogs. Do you have more people in your life critical of your political beliefs than your religious beliefs? I can’t imagine having a whole blog post dedicated to attacking me. That would hurt – and make me worried about writing future posts!
Actually I have plenty of people in my life skeptical of my religious beliefs and critical of my political. I married into a very liberal family. Also from my previous career I made friends with several who do not share my beliefs in both God and politics.
I also have plenty of luke warm Christian friends who think I take the word of God too literally and shouldn’t mix politics. However, our founders intended the Government to stay out of church, not the church stay out of government. We’ve been brain washed in society to believe just the opposite.
I’ve also come to realize that one’s relationship with God can be demonstrated by how one votes and believes politically. People don’t like to hear that, but I’m just saying…
Oofdah! How do you ever write? I think I must be a pansy in the “worrying about what others think” department. God is definitely working on me, though. Blogging about it has intensified the training session.
You’re not a pansy, you’re stronger, wiser and braver than you think!
Don’t let me fool you, I’ve lost countless hours sleep worrying about what people think. Thankfully my toddler has kept me so busy that I’m too exhausted to think much!
Thought you might find this interesting. One of Bonhoeffers favorite passages of scripture is Psalms 119
Haha – I could use a little toddler about now! I think blogging would be a nice mix with little kids.
It can be hard to remember the intent behind blogging (honoring God) and the reward of blogging (adoring fans and lots of likes). Particularly in the beginning I was worried and had to realize, much like you have, that I got into blogging not to be noticed but to give a voice to things that I thought God wanted me give a voice to. That has calmed my nerves (and fears) about blogging and given me the assurance to say the things that need to be said.
The interesting (and sad) thing is that I got into writing as an act of thankfulness to God and a sincere desire to help others, but I got into blogging to sell my writing – I’ve been fighting, especially this time around, to get back to those original motives. Thanks for the encouragement – I really appreciate it.
Thank you for this blog! It’s really good also in terms of just everyday life; I tend to focus on what other people think, rather than God. And I didn’t write this just so you’d have another comment :)
Kelaiah, you are so funny. Thanks for commenting. I’m glad to hear this applies to regular non-blogging life – I didn’t know if it would.
Ngina Otiende says
Great insights Barb.
When I think about writing for ‘one’ – I think about being joyful and fulfilled from helping one person.
Today morning I received this email from a reader who shared how much my blog has helped her. She shared some details – only God would have made such a connection and worked such detail. I was so encouraged and uplifted. It reminded me that I don’t have to ‘help’ the whole world, my joy should really not be with the masses, but with a person. Masses are made up of individuals and when i loose sight of the ‘one’, i stop having the kind of influence that God desires. Again, not that i cease desiring and working towards growing influence. But at my core, i never loose sight of ‘one’. Does that make sense to you, lol.
It makes a lot of sense. I know some people have recommended thinking of a real person in your life when you write your blog. I have that desire to help when I write Bible studies and also when I lead Bible studies and teach – I just have to figure out how to transfer it to blogging. I don’t know why blogging is so different for me mentally. I think because I went into it with a platform mentality.
Kari Scare says
Worrying about what others think of me use to literally consume me. My husband and I were both sucked in by it, and it affected our relationship. Over the past 2 years, we’ve really overcome this. We focus on what God wants of us and worry less about what others think. Focusing on pleasing God rather than man truly does bring freedom. I am so thankful to be heading in that direction. Some days, I still get stuck in the muck of worry about what others think. But most of the time, the Holy Spirit really helps me steer clear of that. It’s a daily, deliberate choice to move away from that. Let down your guard for a moment, and you easily get sucked back in. So thankful to have He who overcame in charge of my life!
“Focusing on pleasing God rather than man truly does bring freedom.”
Yes, Kari – I’m really beginning to see that this is the answer – just haven’t gotten to the victory point yet. One of the things I need to do is to retrain my mind to think, “What does God want me to do?” first time around. The other thing is to just be able to accept the fact that some will condemn me for doing what He wants me to do.
Kari Scare says
The Bible does say that we are aliens and strangers in this world, so having others think what we are doing is strange is to be expected. It also helps me to realize that Jesus was despised and rejected. If I am His follower and His hands and feet, should I expect any less in my life? A habit I try to keep is to cast down thoughts that care too much about what man things over what God things and to do this right away. Then, as you know is so important, replace it with whatever is lovely, true, good, etc. All a matter of developing biblical habits, and it really happens only in small bits over time. Simple, yes. Easy, nope.
Yes – good thoughts, Kari. Thanks for sharing.
It is quite difficult at times to not care what other people may say or think of my blog. Especially when I put so much time and effort into it. Then I realize that anything I blog about will be looked at under a microscope (in a critical way) by some of the people in my life. So, with that in mind, I think what better to blog about than the word of God, with the prayer that my blog may help point them to eternal life and encourage others in the faith. If I’m going to be put down anyway, it may as well be for something honorable.
Haha, I like your last line, Lauren – that’s a good attitude!