Early last month, I endorsed a particular blog in the comments section of one of my old posts. I read an excellent article by another blogger in reference to an issue that I am very passionate about. The author concluded the article with the question, "What do you, the readers think?" I replied via comment on the other blog, thanking the author for addressing the topic. I also provided a link back to my own article on the subject, in an effort to foster more discussion from his readers. Mind you, I was not giving a random link back to my own site just for the sake of promoting my own blog -- I was giving a specific link to one specific article I wrote, an article which is dear to my heart, and one which I thought would contribute further insight for people looking for answers.
My comment was rejected.
Before posting my comment, I was careful to make sure that external links are allowed (and they are). I had written nothing offensive. In fact, my intention was 1) Praise for the author; and 2) An offer to help stimulate discussion by linking back to my own article. Yet, my comment was never published. To add insult to injury, the author chose to publish some very offensive comments, including one man's suggestion that men should not get involved with women over a certain age if they plan on having a lot of children. Needless to say, the worldly nature of this discussion, coupled with its selfish, sexist attitude toward sisters in Christ made me angry!
This experience caused me to reconsider my own endorsement of this particular blog and revoke my previous comment issuing a "kudos" to the author in question. Perhaps that was childish of me. Perhaps I should still congratulate this blogger for his choice to address a subject I feel is important, even though he chose to reject my contribution to the discussion. But I can't.
This particular blog is sponsored by a very famous ministry. Dare I assign motive to this ministry? Could it be that they were threatened by my article? Am I conceited enough to think that? Or am I simply too familiar with the sin of pride that I recognize it right away when I see it in others? In any case, I was given no answers, so I am left with my assumptions that the only reason my comment was not published on the site is because I linked back to my own (even though external links are allowed). And if that's the case, I'm going to confess to everyone out there in blog land that I had fallen into the sin of anger over that. While my anger has ceased and my sin confessed, my concern about why I was originally angry has not.
There are times when I suspect that certain ministries become too big for their britches. Instead of wanting to truly foster fruitful discussions that might help others come to a decision about an issue they are struggling with, these blogs are more about keeping certain ideas local to themselves. In other words, "we don't want anyone else getting the credit for these insights, so let's not publish this link. That way, we continue being seen as the experts on this subject."
Are your articles intended to help others see what an awesome God we serve, or are they designed to help your readers see what an awesome writer you are?I have absolutely no reason to believe that this particular ministry falls into this category other than a strong, intuitive suspicion. And yes, I know that assigning motive to someone else's heart is a dangerous thing to do. I realize and acknowledge that my heart is just as deceitful and sinful as anyone else's. Yet I can't shake the suspicion that had I simply lavished praise on the author and left it at that, my comment would have been published. Regardless, this is a large and popular ministry -- one that will never write me back or explain why they chose to reject my comment, and I could go on forever speculating without any real proof. So I am not going to push my accusations further. But I do want to raise the following question to all you Christian bloggers out there (including myself):
Why are you blogging?
Honestly ask yourself that question. What are you blogging for? Is it for God's glory, or your own? Has everything you've published been led by the Holy Spirit, or your own flesh? Are your articles intended to help others see what an awesome God we serve, or are they designed to help your readers see what an awesome writer you are?
I'd like to think that I'm not above the "nobody bloggers" out there. Truly, in the two and a half years that Reformed SHEology has been in existence, I have chosen to reject only one comment. (It was written by a local friend who had a personal issue with me and chose to address it on my blog, which I felt was inappropriate.) I'd like to think that I'm not conceited in that I'd welcome anyone who was gracious enough to comment on what I've written here. Then again, there is another part of me is seriously questioning why I once heralded that other ministry in the first place. And in doing so, I realize that I am not above doing what was done to me. You see, there was a time when I wanted to write for the very same blog that recently rejected my comment. And there is only one reason why I wanted to write for them: because they are a big, famous blog. Shame on me!
Father, forgive me for wanting to write for a big, famous blog, when You have given me a voice right here. Not only have You given me a voice, but the freedom of creative control over this site, and the liberty to write as You direct, and not as some editor-in-chief directs me. May I never grow prideful of the following You have given me. May I never write for numbers, but for Your glory. May I always realize that there are millions of others out there with good things to say -- things You have placed on their hearts, and that I am not the only one with a voice to proclaim Your glory. May I never shut down the voices of those to whom You have given similar insights. You speak through all of us, not just me.
I would humbly like to thank our readers, our followers, our supporters, and our God for allowing us to have this blog at all. I thank you all for your kind words of encouragement over the past two and a half years. You inspire me to continue sharing for your edification, and not my own. My prayer is that I may continue to encourage you, the person I have never met, whether you have made yourself known to me or not, and that I may see myself as your servant whenever I push the publish button. That has not always been the case, but if you see new articles here less and less often than you used to, please know it is in an effort to place emphasis on glorifying God, rather than catering to our readers.
God be praised.