After a very long and unplanned hiatus, during which a lot went on in my life–I was accepted to graduate school, went on a short-term ministry trip to Malawi (again! and I led it this time), worked on another summer internship, started leading my third small group; sin, growth, triumph, disappointment, life–I think I’ve decided to blog again. (I’m about 90% committed to this idea. Maybe I’ll post once a week, maybe fewer. We’ll see.)
While I was away, I thought several times about closing down the blog. I remembered faint echoes of a commitment I had made three and a half years ago when I first started: “[I]f I’m ever overwhelmed by the demands of keeping this [blog] running, I will close it.” Instead of actually closing it, I just stopped posting. I didn’t close it because I thought there were things on here that other people might still find helpful. I stopped posting because I felt too busy and tired. (This post is only going up because it’s Christmas break. I’m not sure I would have made the time to do this three weeks ago.)
So for the past few days, I’ve been thinking through these questions: Do I want to start blogging again? And if so, why?
My answer to the first question is a 90% yes. My answer to the second question, then, becomes much more important. I stopped blogging because of poor motivations, which sometimes were sinful motivations. In my very first post on the blog, I wrote that I had a “desire to produce content on a semi-regular basis.” But why, and to what end? How did that square with what I wrote a few sentences later when I said that “this blog is more for me than it is for you”? If this blog is more for me than for you, who cares about producing content on a semi-regular basis? That would be a sinful Elliot who, at various times, valued page views, opportunities to review interesting things, and wanted his blog to be the first Google result for his own name. All of those things are trivial on the best of days and sinful on the worst.
Here’s the conclusion I’ve come to. My blog is not for myself to enjoy privately. My blog is for the following–mirroring basics in the Christian life:
- My meditation. I think more thoroughly and deeply when I’m sitting down to write my thoughts. I’m forced to compose them in a coherent way, think through how the thoughts connect together, present a singular focus and goal. Writing blog posts helps me be a more thoughtful, Scripture-meditative Christian because I think about what Scripture says and how it affects me. I become like Christ as I behold Him (2 Cor. 3:18), and writing for this blog often helps me behold Him. Also, in terms of things I could be doing with my free time, blogging is more spiritually profitable than some of the alternatives.
- Your edification. If something helps me, it might help you, too! So as much as this blog is for me, it is equally for you. That’s why this is a blog and not a private journal. Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, the Bible says (Heb. 10:24). I aim to do that so that you can be edified by what I write.
- God’s glorification. Every part of my life should be for the glory of God. That’s easy to forget in a me-first world, a me-first blogging culture, a me-first heart. Though blogging can distract me from God’s glory, that’s an issue that I need to learn to deal with, not run from by abstaining from blogging. What’s more, writing constantly about God’s glory can also remind me what’s most important and what is at stake in my life.
I’m back in blogging. By the grace of God, a bit more humbled, a bit wiser than when I left. Still growing. Yearning to be more passionate for Christ and obedient to Christ. Longing to behold His face. Investing in blogging as a tool for all of those things.