Today is Thankful Thursday, and I am so grateful to God for the leading and conviction that He gives through the indwelling Holy Spirit. God is working in me right now–I know because there’s a deep stirring in my heart–and I’m so aware of His presence. But I’m also aware that He’s working on and in me, well…do you ever hear a speaker on the radio and the Lord brings their message to mind over and over in subsequent days and you’re still thinking about how God wants to apply it in your life? Then you read a devotional, and somehow it ties in, then you read a Bible passage in your quiet time, and God causes you to cry out to Him in prayer. All the time, you feel that all of these are related and God is moving. I am deeply grateful for this work of the Holy Spirit in me.
There’s a challenging post over at Faithful Bloggers on transparency in blogging. (Don’t tune out if you’re not a blogger, because it will apply to anyone who talks.) I left a comment, but then realized it was really a post, so I share it with you here. This is near and dear to my heart. As Christians, how much, and what should we share? This applies whether we are writing a blog, talking with a friend over coffee, or whatever situation we are in where we are sharing details of our personal life. So, please read the post, and here are some of my thoughts on the subject.
“Great post. It really is a lie, if we project a whole different persona on our blog. There’s nothing ‘Christian’ about it. We need to be women of integrity, but also not hypocritical. But here’s where, for me, it becomes a ‘fine line’. We are not called to share every little detail of our lives, undiscerningly, in an attempt to be ‘real’. We are told to think on what is lovely, true, of good report, etc.(Philippians 4:8) and that includes what we say and cause others to think about on our blog. We have a responsibility to our readers, not to cause them to read what will not be edifying (building them up). If my “honesty” and “transparency” defiles, encourages others to lower their standards of holiness, or excuse sin, then I am causing others to stumble. Yes, I fail miserably, sin regularly, let myself and others down, but is it going to help, or hurt, another’s Christian walk to share it? I am finding it increasingly important to ask the Lord, ‘Should I share this? Is it necessary to reveal this? What do you want me to say? Will it help another or am I just making myself feel better about acting in an unChristlike way, or doing that stupid thing, by sharing it with someone else? Am I looking for comfort from others by hearing them say, ‘Oh, yeah, I do that, too’? (Then I must not be so bad, after all?)’
I mention all these things because I struggle with this issue–when to share, what to share, how much detail to go into, what is edifying, what is defiling. I want to be above reproach. To have/keep a “good name” (Prov. 22:1) I don’t want to ever bring the Lord’s Name into reproach, or sully it. For me, it’s not only being transparent that’s important, but my motives. Putting forward a ‘persona’ may be to make myself look better, but ‘telling all’ may be to cause others to like me, and get more comments, ‘friends’ or whatever. I have given my blog to the Lord. I pray that He is always glorified by it, and that I would speak as He would speak, and live in such a way, that what I say and what I do are one.
Wendy @ Faith’s Firm Foundation”
A couple of other thoughts occurred to me after posting this comment: I think it’s important also to remember to be loyal to our families: husbands, of course, but also, our children. Sometimes we feel free, as moms, to tell the most embarrassing stories about our children, as though they have no feelings. I have been guilty of this, and God’s convicted me.
Perhaps this is more of an issue for people like me: really “out there” and open, honest (sometimes to a fault), wanting to see others’ lives changed by Christ and so sharing some of my sins in an effort (consciously or unconsciously) to encourage others to examine their own lives for sin and repent of it, and grow in Christ.
I’m very thankful to the Lord today that He not only leads and convicts me, but gives me the power to do something about it, when I hear Him saying, “This way. Here’s what you need to do.”