Often I write a blog post in response to a particular person or event that has happened, but I do not post it.
I cannot begin to share how frustrating it is to write somewhat lengthy posts (somewhat lengthy for blogs anyway: 800-1000) just to keep them in my drafts. I suppose that is a part of writing. However, it is a frustrating part.
Why do I write, and perhaps this applies to you as well, just to not post it?
Here are a couple of reasons:
1) The post was written in the heat of the moment. Some of the posts I write are knee-jerk responses to something someone said or has done, or to an event that has occurred. I am either offended and writing with a bit of anger, or I find something really encouraging and want to pass it along quickly so it may encourage and edify those who would read the post.
Good or bad, I have written many posts, and lengthy responses at that, but have not published them where the public can see. They stay tucked away, usually waiting on more discernment and thought. “Am I writing this post because I am angry or does this issue really need to be addressed?” “Am I venting (in writing the post) or ranting?”
Usually after I write these unknown posts in whirlwind fashion I will step away from the computer, come back, and reread what I have written. It is after I reread that I must ask myself, “What was the point of all of that?” “Does that still need to be said or did I write that to make myself feel better so let’s not publish it?”
Allow me to give an example.
I have written a couple of lengthy posts addressing some very well-known public figures, a former pastor in particular. I believe I called it an “open letter,” and it was a little over 1,500 words, closer to 2,000.
I had written the letter in response to something he had said (he’s said a lot over the course of several years that has been addressed already). I wrote this “open letter” quickly and with a great burden for this guy’s soul. In that letter I addressed some serious theological errors (heretical/false teachings), and had written to call him to repentance. I wanted to encourage him in that after repentance there could be a place for him in the church as he could use his platform and creative communicative talents to reach many people on the fringe of Christianity.
Anyway, I thought it was important. Instead of just pressing “publish,” I pressed “save.” I took a couple of hours off from working on blog posts and came back to reread what I had written. It was good, but that “passion,” in the moment I had writing, was gone. It sounded like every other letter this guy has probably received; PLUS, I didn’t think he would read my open letter even if I tagged him in a tweet with the link included.
“What was my purpose?” Was I venting or do I really want to see this guy repent unto Jesus and use his God-given talents for the kingdom? Truthfully, the answer was a little of both. That is why I didn’t make the post public. If it had been all in favor of the latter, I would have done it in a heartbeat, but part of it was me venting my frustration at this guy’s blatant heretical teachings and his dismissive attitude towards the many pleas for repentance.
I could not… I would not publish that.
I was so caught up in thinking that I have to save this guy in that moment, but after cooling down, realized that many high-profile evangelical leaders have been calling this guy to faith and repentance for years, in loving ways I might add, and that I perhaps would never have my post read by him.
I have written many of those kinds of posts, the kind that are written with a lot of emotion, but not with as much clarity or direction.
It was more like buckshot, a wide spread with hopes of hitting something critical, rather than a precisely guided rifle round.
I’ve written stuff about breaking news reports, about verses in Scripture, about trends in the church in America. But I didn’t post them for public viewing because much of the time I was venting, and it was a good release.
Perhaps I may post several posts like that, but for now, I’ll be hesitant to click the “publish” button, which leads me to my second point:
2) Pick your battles.
Know the hills you are willing to die on.
Know when to stay and fight and when to flee in order to fight another day.
Not every story or person can be the subject of a blog post. If I were to cover every news story I heard that has important worldview implications, particularly implications for/to the Christian worldview, I would never have time away from the keyboard. There is so much that goes on, and you have to pick your battles.
I must ask myself, “Is this worth debating, or arguing about?” “Is this issue an issue that is closely related to my expressed purposes for the blog or am I just writing on it because it is trendy to do so?” Do I want to write and address this issue, or do I need to address this issue? Would those who read my blog find out about this or study this important issue if I didn’t bring it to their attention?
There are hills worth dying on. Some issues, whether biblical or extra-biblical, need to be addressed.
However, a lot of topics are not that important. Though I may think they are important at the time I wrote them, in reality, they aren’t.
My blog post isn’t going to change the world. I cannot fight every battle. I cannot rebuke every heretic specifically. I cannot tackle all the issues that come out of the Vatican or out of Congress.
“What is important?” Is my issue with this particular pastor important? Sure, it is to me, but it may not be to you, the readers.
Yes, there are things I think you need to be aware of, but I cannot fight and labor just to share small things — things you may not care about. I, nor any other blogger/writer, have the time to be a constant news feed addressing all the headlines that come to light.
We must focus on that which is important, and this is a lesson I have to relearn time and time again as I write with the intention to provide helpful posts. I write many posts, most of which you all don’t ever see, and that’s because I’m trying to discern these things more carefully — knowing and picking my battles — and that includes this post. I’ve only written it because maybe, just maybe, someone can sympathize with and be encouraged by these thoughts as well.