I know not much has been happening on this blog in the last week or so. This is not because we haven’t had things going on, but more because I haven’t really wanted to write about them. The blog switch got switched off, I guess you could say.
This is because I’ve had this routinely nagging thought–is this blog a replacement for actual relationship with people?
If so, that is not a good thing. If Christ manifests Himself in relationship then I am surely missing out and so are those I am failing to pursue. These relationships include
- new people in my life, particularly my in-laws and friends of Jason
- my parents, other family, and friends who are not in my immediate vicinity
- close friends
I know this sounds kinda extreme, but when I die, do I want those around me to be reading posts from my blog (in my own boring words) or telling real stories about living life with me?
I am guilty of letting my flesh rule me, and it doesn’t think that long term. It just wants to be safe and comfortable right now. So maybe I don’t pick up the phone or tell my friend what’s really going on with me. I just tell a story, how I want to tell it, revise it based on what I want to be perceived, and then click “Publish.” No face staring back at me. No one asking me a probing question. No awkward silence where I insert an inquiry about how that face across the table from me is doing.
I know I’ve been in the wrong because there have been quite a few times when a friend has asked me about something going on my life and I get annoyed and think to myself (or actually say it out loud) “Didn’t you read my blog? I totally talked about that.”
So there’s where some of the sin lies. But the blog isn’t all bad. God has used it to redeem something very important to me. For many years in college and after I had this love/hate relationship with writing. Even though I was an English Lit major, it was a risk for me to write and I felt self-conscious about it. I would choke up in front of a blank computer screen and be very critical about anything I wrote. Since I’ve been blogging God has given me back a passion writing which is free from the chains of insecurity. It feels really good.
But then there’s the praise I’m getting for my writing. Is that seeking the pleasure of man or of God? Am I thankful for the gift or just riding on the high of praise-induced self-esteem? I think it’s both.
So, as you can see I am learning that most things in life are not black and white. I am my own greatest example, since I alternately live in the flesh and the Spirit. My motives will always be mixed. I love writing about what God is doing and I love writing about myself. I love sharing what Jason and I are doing as means of drawing people into our life but I also love doing it as a means of distancing myself from relationships.
In times past I probably would have said “There I go again, turning something into an idol. I can’t be trusted. I’ve got to quit.” I don’t know how many times I’ve done that before. It has been without even a moment of listening to the Spirit of God for wisdom and guidance. It has been the easy way out of risk. Trusting God to help me moment by moment with something I know I could mar with my sin is a big risk for me. Trusting that if I do sin, God’s grace will be there for me is a risk. And being flexible enough to let go or hold on is a risk.
It’s just a blog. But as Peter Parker’s uncle said “With great power, comes great responsibility.” So, for now I’m going to try to find some balance with the Holy Spirit’s help.
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit . . . if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” (Romans 8:5, 10)