I suck at New Year’s resolutions so usually I don’t even try. But my buddy Zach Hoag wrote something about the level of nastiness in the progressive Christian blogosphere that has made me reflect on how I can contribute to making a better online conversation. So here are five things I wanted to challenge myself to do and any other bloggers as well.
1) I will not be a platform slave
Nothing is more despicable to me about myself than my constant obsession with building my platform. Platform-building is an unfortunate necessity in the writing world today since publishers won’t read your manuscript unless you hit a certain quota of twitter followers and page views. But it doesn’t have to be my obsession.
2) I will not write mean things about Mark Driscoll or other Calvinist celebrities to get hits
It makes me feel dirty every time I do it. So I’m going to stop doing it. I’ve actually been planning for quite some time to blog through a reading of Driscoll’s Doctrine book to try to figure out what our actual points of agreement and disagreement are. Thoughtful critique is different than capitalizing on outrage.
3) I will try to read and comment on 5 other people’s blog posts for every one that I write
I’m embarrassed to admit that for all the blogging I do, I really don’t read much of what other people write. Nothing is more discouraging than writing a post that nobody comments on. So I’m going to try to be the encouragement I would like to have myself.
4) I will stop being a meme-whore and write from my journey instead
In my first year of blogging, I mostly wrote from my journey. The kind of engagement I got from people was very rich though my numbers were small. I miss the people who used to comment before I started chasing the memes. So I want to get back to this being testimony from a journey rather than commentary on the latest tasty drama.
5) I will respond to others with love no matter what
This is the most important one. I have sucked at loving my adversaries even though I know very well that sarcasm and anger will never change anyone’s heart. It’s more important for me to be a voice of grace than to make sure I get the last word in every argument.