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.
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.