When I felt God nudging me to share stories about what He was doing in my life, I thought, "does the world really need another Christian blogger?"
God changed my heart to realize that, yes, it does; in fact, there should be many more. However, something about the rise of Christians stepping out with an online presence has troubled me.
And it looks like this: blog posts, email newsletters, and special alerts that, for the most part, bear the picture of the person doing the writing.
Like, what you see is primarily pictures of them.
This happens a lot, and, over time I wonder how the person can both do this and keep the emphasis more on the Creator than the created, and not grow a (sometimes unconscious) sense of pride.
Surely it's a fine line--one I've danced close to myself. 11 out of 30 posts on my homepage right now bear my face as the thumbnail image. And more than one Silicon Valley tech tycoon has remarked that our social networking is powerfully driven by deadly sins.
Here are 5 ways I keep the story more about about God, and less about me:
- I look at post history, is it a lot of pictures of me, or other stuff too? Point blank, I don't think it should always be me, not even 50% of the time, so I go out of my way to find other images.
- I ask someone who will be honest with me. Usually its my wife, Whitney, or another guy in my life I pick for their brutal honesty. I ask if what I'm posting is done in the right spirit.
- I consider the tone of the message. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 the Apostle Paul wrote that he boasts in his weakness, because when he is weak, Christ is strong. Am I writing about how great I am, or God? I try to do only the latter.
- I do a Strategy Check. Is my online approach centered more on what the world says is necessary to be effective, or what I'm hearing from God in the Word and in prayer?
- I pray. Often before a post that feels more "out there" for one reason or another, I'll pray and sometimes fast for a few days (or even months) before posting it. God has a way of using the Holy Spirit to self-correct.
In closing, what's been very telling to me is that, consistently over the past few years, the posts that get the most interest and have the greatest spiritual fruits, by far, are those where I'm either making a fool of myself for Christ, or where I'm focused completely on someone or something other than me.