A couple days ago my friend, Lore Ferguson, tweeted this comment:
I’ve been thinking about her lament quite a lot since then.
There is an endless number of reasons why blog content is often sub-par (not the least of which is the sheer pressure to PRODUCE, which does not correlate well with quality and thoughtfulness) but it got me to thinking about my own writing, and the quality of the content I put out.
As you can see, the name of this blog is She Worships. The title captures the original heart behind this blog, which I began nearly 7 years ago. I believe the chief end of humanity is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever–in short, to live a life defined by worship–so I created this blog as an extension of that belief.
Because I also believe that worship is not confined to the walls of a church, but is instead a way of living, this blog covers all sorts of topics, many of which have traced the trajectory of my life. My longtime readers have watched me traverse the seasons of dating, then marriage, then becoming a mom.
As I encountered each stage I tried to write thoughtfully about them, all through the lens of Christ.
At face value, topics like self-image or modesty or singleness may not seem like matters of worship, but they can be. Many times, those topics are a reflection of my own journey, my own living out of this worship-shaped life.
Those topics do not, necessarily, compromise the core mission of the blog.
But, I’ll admit it’s a slippery slope.
Sometimes I wonder about that fine line between writing that encourages, and writing that is vaguely self-helpish.
Sometimes I wonder about the line between thinking critically or theologically, and totally missing the point.
Sometimes I wonder if the content has turned away from an orientation toward God, and has gradually shifted back toward me.
As much as I want this to be a space where I am honest about my struggles and the work of grace therein, I wonder if too much of my content is, at the end of the day, human centered.
To return to Lore’s initial concern, I wonder if that human-centeredness has seeped into the Christian blogosphere and robbed it of its power. On the one hand, we need blogs that encourage believers to persevere through trials. Life is hard, suffering is real, and we need voices exhorting us to press on through the darkness.
We also need blogs that thoughtfully discuss controversial issues. We need blogs that speak into the culture and say hard things.
But what happens when those types of posts are the most popular? And what happens when that popularity influences the content bloggers create? What happens when Christians bloggers are so focused on woundedness and healing and controversy–namely, what sells–that we never get to topics like holiness, sacrifice, and mission?
What if we are contributing to a culture of Christianity that is more self-centered than it is Christ-centered?
I’ve walked this line between human-edifying and human-centered, and many times I’ve fallen on the wrong side. I blame it, mostly, on pure laziness. After hashing out my own issues and Christ’s grace in the midst, I don’t always take the next step. I don’t always ask, “Now what?” or
What does this teach me about God’s character?
What does this mean for my neighbor who doesn’t know Christ?
What does this mean for the poor who live in my community?
At what point do I stop focusing on me, how I feel, and what I think, and instead turn the focus back to God?
When do I stop writing about the injury that knocked me down, and get back up and RUN?
Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for healing and encouragement to survive the chaos of life. And there is a place for discussing hot topics.
But I think a lot of us bloggers struggle to take the next, most important step. I’m not sure how many Christian blogs look us square in our lives and call us–and by “us” I mean me, you, in our actual lives, not the people out there–to more. To fight the good fight, to live a life worthy of the hope we profess.
I wish I could say that I have written every one of my posts with Christ and the cross in the center of my sight, but I haven’t. The good desires to think critically, to comfort the hurting, and encourage the weary can so easily become ends unto themselves.
That’s why I am grateful to Lore for her hard honesty. I needed it. I’ll be thinking on it a lot in the days and weeks to come. Because Christ is worthy of more.
And to those of you who’ve been hanging in there with me these many years, thanks for your patience and grace as I continue to figure out this thing called writing. I am an imperfect vessel, but He is not done with me yet. Praise be to God.