I’m coming up on one year of blogging. In the year or so that I’ve spent blogging, I’ve realized that there are some traps that young bloggers like me can easily fall into. If you blog, or are considering blogging, you may want to think about these things. Learn from my mistakes.
Writing Without Doing
It’s so easy to write posts about what Christians should “do”, and yet not be doing those things myself. I encourage people to evangelize, read their Bibles, meditate on God’s word, be thankful, and to give cheerfully, and at times I can write in such a way that sounds like I’ve mastered these things, which is far from the truth. Before I encourage others to do these things, I want to make sure that I’m striving to do them first. Most of the time I should be saying, “Come and grow with me,” as opposed to “Hey, this is what you should do!”
Writing Without Thinking
Blogs are dangerous. A “profound” thought comes into your head, you bang it out on the keyboard, and then you hit the publish button. Suddenly your thought is out in cyberspace, able to be read by everyone and their mom. I’ve done it and then regretted it later. I want to think through a post before I publish it, ensuring that it’s biblical, humble, and God-honoring. Fortunately, I’ve got other people that read the blog who can hold my blog writing accountable.
It’s so easy to be an arrogant critic when I’m sitting in the comfort of my living room behind the anonymity of my laptop. If I’m going to criticize someone I want to do it humbly and gently, realizing that I’m only a 26 year-old guy with very limited life and ministry experience. My knowledge is limited, my understanding of a person’s motives is limited, and my heart is sinful. Those factors should temper any critique or evaluation I would provide. Obviously this doesn’t mean I don’t use discernment or that I accept everything someone says. But humility matters.
A blog post is never written in a vacuum. Real people read them and they have a real effect on people’s lives. I need to remember this before hitting the publish button. Non-Christians will be stumbling onto my blog and reading my words. Will my words lead them to Christ or turn them away? Christians will read this blog and the words will have a real effect on their souls, either for good or for bad. If I use my blog as a place to complain or vent frustration, how will that effect other Christians? I want to consider how my words effect others.
Writing For Glory
It’s so easy to write for my glory. I want people to think I’m funny, witty, intelligent, brilliant, and unusually strong. I want lots of comments and lots of subscribers. It’s all pride and arrogance. My goal for this blog should be pointing others to Christ. I want the name of Christ to increase, not the name of Stephen. At times it’s helpful to step back and ask, “Why am I really doing this?”
Update: I neglected to mention when I first wrote this that the majority of these ideas came from a conversation I had with my dad, who in turn got some of these thoughts from his friend Dave Harvey. So let me give credit to whom credit is due. Dad, Dave, thanks for sharing your wisdom with the rest of us!
Help me out with this. What are some other traps that bloggers can fall into?