Why Christians Ought to Intentionally Blog/Journal/Both
Sorry, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Again. 😛 This is a long post, but I hope it is or will be applicable to your life, whether you’re a writer or not.
Life has been crazy lately as usual, and I’ve been learning a ton. Ever since I started college, I feel like I’m learning ten times more than I ever learned before. Something about having to figure life out for oneself is a wonderful teacher! And the more I learn (mainly about what I don’t know), the more desperate I become to never forget the lessons I’ve learned. These are formative years, and these are lessons that will serve me for the rest of my life.
So, how do I remember these lessons? As you all know, I blog. 🙂 This website is a testament of God’s faithfulness to me. I try to document here the things that He teaches me. You won’t find everything I’ve ever learned on here, but you will find a great number and variety of things. God has given me an inexpressible love for writing. It helps me sort out what I’m learning in a more Biblical way by solidifying what I think about certain issues, and it gives me pleasure to craft words for the glory of God. It’s how I process life. If you’re a writer, you will identify with an irresistible urge to write. I would write whether anyone read my work or not.
Not everyone is like that, and God was wise to create humans in different ways. So this post is not calling you to improve your writing skills or to start a blog or to write a book. But, this post is calling you to start documenting (in writing) different things God is doing in your life, whether anyone ever reads it or not.
Why? Well, that answer depends on what you’re writing. Some of these reasons definitely apply to both journaling and blogging, particularly if you are a writer, so bear that in mind. By the way, some of these reasons relate closely to some of John Piper’s reasons for writing (which you can read towards the bottom of his article here).
1. Because God has called us to remember His faithfulness (Deuteronomy 6.5-9).
A great way to get through tremendous trials is to remember the promises of God and the way He’s working in our lives. When we feel like God is against us, we can remember how He promised to never leave us nor forsake us. When we’re overwhelmed by sin, we can remember how Jesus said “it is finished!” on the cross. When we are afraid for our lives, we can remember times when we should have died, but God protected us. A wonderful and faith-sustaining way to remember the promises of God is to documenting His faithfulness to you in writing.
2. Because God has called us to take every thought captive for the sake of Christ (2 Corinthians 10.5).
Are you a writer? If so, you process life through writing. So if you’re really going to work through tough issues and figure out what you believe about certain theological points, you need to write. Ask God to speak to you and let the words flow how they will. In so doing, God will blow your mind with what He will reveal to your heart.
3. Because there are some things that you must say, but that are only meant for God to hear.
There are certain things that God is teaching you that you cannot share with others. Either the lesson involves a situation that should not be explained easily to a larger group of people, or it should not be explained. God often teaches you stuff that is meant only for you. But you still have to remember it, right? So, write it down!
**A slightly separate question than the above is, what should be the purpose of a blog? I submit to you that one should not blog primarily because they’re skilled writers. If you feel called to spread a message to a group of people, a good way to do that in our electronic day and age is to blog. Writing ability ought to be very secondary to that concern.
1. Because God has called us to speak publicly of His faithfulness (Psalm 107.2).
Now, even though that sentence is true, I readily admit that there are other ways to spread a message publicly. However, blogs are wonderful tools that are quickly gaining popularity. In the age where computers are basically necessity, and where Facebook and Twitter are becoming typical communication mediums, the internet is become a more and more effective way to communicate with people. The internet is convenient, and most people have access to it.
All that said, you have to be intentional about glorifying God in what you write. You’ll just end up writing a typical, constant rant, trivial blog if you don’t begin with a purpose in mind. Where do you want to take your website? Make sure everything you write serves your purpose.
2. Because God uses a variety of means to encourage/convict/save people. Who knows how He’ll use your blog (Romans 11.33)?
Remember that the “effectiveness” of a post does not depend on how well it’s written or how much you like it. God is extremely amazing; He can work through any means, any words. If He’s calling you to share something, it’s because He’s going to use it. I hope that encourages you; you don’t have to be perfect. But you do have to be faithful to God’s call. Maybe you’re called to another form of public ministry, and that’s great! Just be sure you’re not supressing a message if God is calling you to share it.
3. Because God has called us to be counter-cultural (John 15.19).
This reason gets at a more personal reason that I have created this blog. I want to have a place where I can talk about stuff that matters. I want to show the world that Jesus Christ is all that matters, and He is worth discussing and exploring and loving and pursuing and trusting. That’s what I hope this blog will do. There will only be so much “entertainment” here if this is all about me. But there is endless joy and excitement and mystery in Jesus Christ. I want Him to reveal Himself to you by my words.
A random note about blogging that didn’t fit anywhere else =)
Comments. Bloggers love them for a variety of reasons. For one, comments let bloggers know that people are taking the time to read what they post. Also, comments let bloggers know that their readers care enough about what they’re reading to interact with their material, whether it’s asking a question or acknowledging that they can relate to what the author is saying. I’m actually not trying to make more of you comment (but you can always feel free to comment =)). I said the above because I know that my fellow bloggers will identify with me. And I want to talk to you about that.
You need to come to a place where you’re not just writing so others will interact with your posts. You’ll go through seasons where no one will comment. The question at that moment is, once again, why are you doing this? Remember that whatever you post will serve the purposes of God, whether you get comments or not. I’m not trying to be condescending…I’m just trying to give you hope, passion, and motivation to blog whenever and whatever God would lead.
So after reading all of those reasons to blog and/or journal, you might still be thinking that this just isn’t for you. If that’s you, I would tell you it’s ok. Really. But you have to remember life somehow…if you can figure out another way to do it, great! Otherwise, I do think there are Biblical reasons to do this. I don’t just have this blog because it’s something else to maintain for fun. If this website ever fades into the same triviality as most of the stuff on the internet today, it will go away.
Anyway, these are things that I encourage you to think about. 🙂