Be careful, little blogs, what you say.

Some days, it’s easy to rattle out 500 words or so on a topic. Book review of a novel I just read and really liked? Sure! Tear down obnoxious Christmas carols? No problem! Talk about myself and my goals for the year? Easy as pie!

There are other days, however, when I hesitate to write–when the truth I want to tell may come back to haunt me or hurt me. For example, I was a little fired up about worship songs that take Bible verses out of context (and I still am), but after I posted that piece, I realized that my pointed analysis could pretty easily get back to the worship pastor of my church, who may see it as an attack instead of a loving critique.

There’s a moment when you realize that the words you fire off like so many arrows may actually hit human targets, and you have to consider if what you’re doing is really worth it. You must make sure that the things you say matter enough to you that you’re willing to stand behind them and, if necessary, pay the price for them.

Of course I’m not talking about any sort of real or lasting risk to myself. My words aren’t raising the ire of religious extremists threatening my life (though they may, one day). My words aren’t putting me at risk with a government that would want to silence me (though this may happen one day as well). My simple little blog, with its negligible page views and dozen or so friendly readers, is a molecule in a drop in a bucket in an ocean of words.

On the other hand, my words reach actual eyes and ears and, hopefully, hearts. If I’m careless, they will wound without cause and will damage my credibility and limit my opportunities to challenge, encourage, and bless my readers.

It’s one thing to speak truth to power, or declare that the emperor has no clothes. It’s another to shoot firebrands into a crowd of digital passersby. 

Do I regret anything I’ve posted in the last few months? No, I do not. But in the coming weeks and months, I suspect I may be stepping into riskier ground at times, so I want to make clear up-front that I mean what I say, that I will be thoughtful about how I say it, and that I will continue to be vigilant about whether or not I’m speaking for the good of those who read, instead of simply filling the internet with another cloud of zeros and ones.

My hope is that my posts are a benefit to you, reader. I trust that if they are not, you’ll either let me know or you will move on. Either way, I’ll get the message.

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3 thoughts on “Be careful, little blogs, what you say.

  1. /* My simple little blog, with its negligible page views and dozen or so friendly readers, is a molecule in a drop in a bucket in an ocean of words.*/

    Don’t underestimate the power of your influence. If you found out that you wrote something that led someone to commit evil acts or ensnared them in some way, you’d feel terrible, even if it were only 1 person.

    If you found out your words encourage others who need it, edifies them and teaches them, isn’t one person telling you that enough to bring great joy?

    I’ll agree we need to consider our reach to an extent (no pun intended), but you impact on people isn’t negligible, no to them. The people who brought my family a meal each night after my baby’s birth last year were far less negligible (to me) than the man who had the most blog hits that week.

    Keep up the good work, it is needed.

  2. Just wanted to say that I really enjoy and learn from your blog, including this post. I think it’s important to be thoughtful and use wisdom in what we post online, and this was a timely reminder for me. I’m thankful that you’re determined to continue speaking the truth in love. 🙂

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