Every time I sit down to compose a blog post, I usually spend 1-1/2 to 2 hours writing it. Not every one. But certainly most of them. When I was looking back at my blogging history earlier this week, it started to sink in just how much time I spend doing this.
Years ago, when I would sit down with my pen and spiral notebook, I seldom spent that kind of time. I would scribble my thoughts and prayers…whatever came to my mind. I would write what I was feeling. Good and bad. It was where I would express my frustrations and take the filter off. I would I would write things that only God could handle.
Looking back, I’ve come to realize it was in my journaling where I became a more disciplined communicator. It was where I grew to understand the connection between my heart and my head and the power of expression.
That connection is now part of me. Journaling to blogging to preaching to daily conversations…my words matter.
When I write, I write carefully. Every blog post is full of false starts that nobody ever knows about. Sentences that are written and re-written multiple times. I want to make sure that what I write is exactly what I want people to read. If somebody reads what I write, I can never take my words back, once I hit the “publish” button. Oh, I can go back and wipe it clean, but the screen shot has been snapped. It’s definitely why I limit my writing on Twitter and FB.
I want my words to be consistent with my own character and personal journey. I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I get that nobody’s perfect, but if what I write and what I do and say don’t match up, the importance of what I write is emptied of its value. Painfully, I know this first hand. “Do as I say, not as I do” doesn’t work for writers, any better than it does for parents.
Not only do I want an internal consistency, I also want to reflect the character of Christ in everything I write. Especially when I am critical. I take the words of the Bible writers seriously. There is a time to call out sin. There is a time to express opinion. There is a time to stand up for righteousness. It’s not always easy. “Let no unwholesome words come from your mouth” and “Bless and do not curse” are not outdated religious catchphrases. They are commands that those who seek to honor Christ will live by…that I choose to live by.
I want my theology to be well thought out. I want my opinions to be fully informed. I want my criticisms to be above reproach. I want my sarcasm to be measured. I don’t ever want to play out my personal agenda with another person online. I owe them face to face.
I want healthy and uplifting writing to outweigh my negative thoughts and opinions 50 to 1. I want grace and kindness to be present every time I write. We live in such a caustic and unfiltered culture, I refuse to be part of that problem.
I generally read and re-read my posts ten or twelve times before I ever publish them. Sometimes I let them sit for a few days and then come back to them, to see if they are still worth publishing. I always try to read them from the point of view of the other…to make sure I am not inadvertently hurting or potentially driving a wedge. I want to do my best to make sure my words and my intentions, will not be misunderstood. Unfortunately, this is never foolproof.
I am deeply aware that something much greater is at stake besides my need to be heard.