I had become weary of criticism. Like this quote from The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment I was worn down and began to dread the comments (public and private) of a few.
You think it much if you have a friend who always makes bad interpretations of your ways towards him; you would take that badly. If you should converse with people with whom you cannot speak a word, but they are ready to make a bad interpretation of it, and to take it in an ill sense, you would think their company very tedious to you. ~ Jeremiah BurroughsI have received criticism over the time that I have been blogging. These include such claims as:
- that I lack years of experience,
- that I share too much,
- that I share too little,
- that I acquiesce to the whingers, etc.
I take criticism very seriously and used this past week to pray, search the Scriptures, and examine myself and my past writing.
I've seen how God has used this medium, especially the interaction with commentors, to grow me in so many ways. I have been humbled and corrected and encouraged. Some were thoughtful, gracious, and loving, while others were tactless and blunt ... but I heeded them all desiring the truth they spoke into my life, not resenting them for the correction they offered.
As I contemplated letting this blog go, I did so with dry eyes. Perhaps, i'd rather laugh than cry had served its purpose. It had run its course and like so many other blogs out there would die off into the cold cruel world of Google caches. I do not cling to the url in desperation, fearing my life force would be drained away if I do not blog. I could use the time to read more, memorize Scripture, open my home to other women, etc.
My husband was opposed to my throwing in the towel. Mike pointed out that as I share my life with others they have been blessed and encouraged and convicted. Has this been my mission? No. Please don't think me cold-hearted, but I imagine that if anyone has been encouraged through my writing that it has been by the grace of God working in their life.
I thought of my blogging as a conversation with friends and strangers. Sharing my life, thoughts, experiences, and opinions ... and I suppose in that sense anyone can be challenged and blessed, as I have been by reading of your own lives, thoughts, experiences, and opinions.
I do not view it as a platform to be heard ... as if I am somehow a prophet of all things right and true. "Be like me and you will live!" (I doubt anyone would read this blog anyway if I did have such an attitude.) I hope you do not have that view of me. Instead, I hope that as I share "Hey, look at what I learned!" you will grow with me.
I've never thought of this as a ministry. But perhaps God has used it that way in the lives of some.
God has used this blog as a tool to grow me spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally. I doubt he's through with it yet. Be gracious with me, friend and stranger, as I try to heed your insights and wisdom. Come to me with the grace God has shown you.