I am thankful for blogs. Good writers who would otherwise go unread are able to make helpful and edifying insights available for public perusal and reflection. Nevertheless, I am convinced that ease of writing and posting does not always guarantee better writing. At the same time, I am also convinced that Christians have the responsibility—if we are going to write about Biblical truth and important theological issues—to cherish clarity above all other literary qualities.
I had a professor in college who was well loved and well respected by nearly everyone on campus. I went to a small college–only 1200 students in attendance–but the respect and affection that others had for this man was certainly deserved. He was an excellent teacher and a man full of wisdom–with a head of wavy silver hair to match. In his 50 years of serving Christ, he had pastored several churches and taught college level classes ranging from theological systems to the book of Romans. For me, sitting under this man was a time of great spiritual blessing.
I have been blogging, as it is called, for about two-and-a-half years. I began regularly maintaining a blog (not this one) in November 2005 after I was encouraged by a good friend to pursue blogging for the sake of encouraging others through writing. Shortly after coming to Christ (in 1999), I found that I had a new love for writing. My only outlets for writing at this time, however, were through personal journaling and papers written for class. Blogging provided a way in which I could both write on a consistent basis and encourage others in the process; add to this the fact that I was currently working at a church and regularly teaching, and blogging seemed to make perfect sense.
Today Fox News reported that a severed foot washed ashore off the coast of British Columbia, making it the fifth foot to show up off the coast of British Columbia in a year. Investigators are treating the incident as a criminal investigation. But let me posit this question: why are they treating the discovery of a severed human foot as a criminal investigation? Why is this even in the news? I mean, it’s just a foot. What’s wrong with a foot? The problem, of course, is not the foot—it’s the fact that the foot is not attached to a human being. This makes it news. This makes it a possible crime scenario. This makes it gruesome; not the foot, but the fact that it is not attached to a body.
I find myself regularly reflecting the discipline of journaling. Although I love pens, college-ruled paper, and Mead Five-Star composition notebooks (I usually stock up several at a time), I can say without hesitation the primary reason I practice keeping a journal is the spiritual benefit I derive from such a discipline. Here are a few:
Blogging is not for everybody. Some people rightly hesitate to develop or host a blog. Some may feel that blogging would promote too much pride in their heart and life. Others may sense the gravity and power of writing and are therefore reluctant to write publicly. Still others may not consider blogging a good use of their time.
Each of these three reasons are legitimate. I would suggest that a person should forego blogging if they find their pride inflamed by writing their thoughts publicly. I respect those who realize how powerful writing is and therefore keep themselves out of the arena altogether. I also understand the struggle to correctly align priorities and decide on how to best use one’s time. But I wonder—I just wonder—if some are kept from blogging, not because their are humble, but because they are proud.
Ever since becoming a Christian, I have loved to write. I certainly do not think that writing is a fruit of the Spirit or something that is bestowed at salvation, but I do believe that writing is an excellent spiritual discipline to nurture and one that has great benefits. One way to develop this discipline is by journaling. Continue reading “Journaling for the Good of Your Soul”