Is it possible to pursue a public platform in a way that glorifies God instead of myself? Should a Christian seek to increase her influence? Is it always pride that propels one to be seen and heard?
These questions are common to Christians in many spheres of influence. Writing and blogging are no exception.
As I wrestle with the tension between platform-building and desiring to honor Christ alone, God graciously continues to connect me with fellow Jesus-following writers who shed glimpses of light on the issue. And I’m often surprised by Truth that addresses my questions in His Word.
Shortly after starting this blog, I vulnerably posted about my fears in writing on this public platform. I still despise the thought of writing anything that would dishonor Christ, but my discomfort with the general idea of sharing my writing has greatly diminished.
Writing Is A Gift
For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them … [emphasis mine]
God gave us gifts and He intends for us to use them. He has given me a gift to write, so I must write.
Gifts Are Meant To Be Shared
1 Peter 4:10-11 expands on this:
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. [emphasis mine]
Ephesians 4:11-16 also tells us that our gifts are for “equipping the saints for the work of the ministry and for the building up of the Body of Christ.”
God has gifted all of us uniquely for a purpose beyond personal enjoyment. It is for the benefit of the Body of Christ and for His glory.
If I keep my gifts to myself, how is He glorified? How do my gifts benefit the Body if no one else knows they exist?
So, not only am I to write, I am to write for the benefit of others. That means I must allow others to read what I write.
For the Body & God’s Glory
Ensuring that my writing is for the benefit of others and for God’s glory instead of my own requires prayer, humility, accountability, and submission to the Lord. I cannot use my gift faithfully on my own. I need His Spirit to empower me and guide me, and I need the community of the Body of Christ to teach me and encourage me.
What Does It Look Like to Write for the Benefit of Others?
Abigail Dodds so beautifully expresses the necessity of writing from a place of humility by writing about what we’ve learned and applied. It’s good to speak the Truth (and to speak it in love), but it’s even better to speak the Truth and live it out. To “practice what we preach”.
I do this imperfectly. And that’s where God’s grace comes in. Abigail does it imperfectly, too (as does any human blogger), and yet God has used her writing to minister to me, to serve me, to teach me, to edify me, to grow me to greater maturity in Christ. I’m so thankful she’s been faithful to share her gift online even though it’s humbling.
Keeping My Message & Motivation In Check
3 Questions I Ask Before Clicking “Publish”, a post by Christa Threlfell effectively serves to keep me focused when I’m writing a blog post.
- Is it true?
- Does it exalt Christ as the True Hero?
- Is it gracious?
To help me write what is true, I’ve chosen to write primarily about God’s Word. The Bible is as True as Truth gets! There are other topics I’ve considered writing about, and maybe someday I will. But for now, writing about God’s Word keeps me from unintentionally veering off into topics that might be more self-glorifying.
Exalting Christ is my heart’s desire. I don’t write because I want people to think I’m amazing. I write because I want people to know HE’s amazing! It delights me to share with others what God has done and is doing in my life. My biggest thrill is inspiring women to discover the living power of God’s Word.
If I’ve written a post that doesn’t point people to Christ, I don’t want it online. My goal is not to promote myself, but to promote Him.
Writing graciously means I’m not condemning others with my words. It’s important to me that my words don’t present a legalistic, formulaic approach to relationship with God. It is by grace we have been saved (Ephesians 4:8-9). When it comes to practical topics, I like to share what worked for me, but not as a prescription. My hope is to demonstrate God’s grace through my words.
Platform & Promotion
So, after all this talk about writing for the benefit of others and for the glory of God, what about the promotion part? What about pursuing a platform?
We know the destructive impact of pride and we know that Jesus thoroughly taught us the necessity of humility in the life of a Christian. So, is it wrong for a Christian to seek a platform from which to use their gifts?
Applying the Great Commission to Writing
At the beginning of this blog, I reached out to Christa Hutchins of Do A New Thing regarding this issue of self-promotion. This is what I wrote to her:
There’s a battle between my heart and my flesh. I have a message I want to share and that message is Christ-exalting, God-honoring, Gospel-centered. …God has given me a gift of writing…. So I believe I am called to faithfully use that gift to glorify Him. But my flesh is frustrated by doing it without any response, any engagement. I don’t want fame and fortune, but I desire to know that my efforts are having an effect. Is that selfish? Is it prideful? It somehow seems wrong to seek out an audience. Shouldn’t I just faithfully write what He lays on my heart and trust HIM to bring me who He wants?
Christa responded by referring to The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20).
“…at some point, we need to go find the people who need the message we are sharing. Not so we can gain followers, but so that they can be changed by the power of God’s Word. Yes, God will bring people to your blog who he wants to hear your message, but you may need to meet those people on the road halfway.”
I still don’t have this all figured out, but I’ve sensed the Lord encouraging me to keep going, keep trying, keep writing, keep seeking answers.
And as I’ve done so, He’s been connecting me with fellow Christian bloggers who share their gift of writing for God’s glory. I write better because of them. I am growing in my relationships with Christ and my understanding of His Word. I am challenged to go deeper, to pursue holiness, to grow in faithfulness. Other writers have prayed for me, and I have prayed for them.
As I seek to build community through my blog and writing, looking for ways of serving my readers and fellow bloggers, I believe God is glorified in us – collectively. And my platform becomes more about our shared love of Christ than it is about me or any other individual.
Why I Write
The Bible contains within its pages everything we need to know to live a victorious life in Christ. This Book is alive and active. It affects and impacts every aspect of our lives – even writing, even blogging.
Although I don’t have it all figured out and will never achieve “Christian blogging perfection”, by continuing to write, I am taking a step of faith that God will use the gift He’s given me for His glory.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)
Soli Deo Gloria – For the Glory of God Alone
If this is a topic you’d like to explore further, 2 other links I recommend are:
- Platform-Building Confessions at Five Minute Friday, and
- Blogging for God’s Glory by Benjamin Vrbicek.
- Writing as a Ministry by Glenna Marshall
- Why You Shouldn’t Stop Blogging by Tim Challies
- Don’t Call Me A Blogger by Jen Brogdon
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