One of the blogs I read regularly is “Stuff Christians Like” by Jonathan Acuff, who has recently published a book by the same name. Inspired by Christian Lander’s blog, “Stuff White People Like,” SCL takes a satirical look at “the funny things we Christians do. And what they just might reveal about our faith.”
Last month, Acuff asked his readers to share what they thought were the best Christian blogs. Some of the responses were the names of (relatively, in the Christian blogging community) high-profile blogs, some were of much smaller blogs, and several were flat-out self-promotions. It probably won’t surprise you, but not one of them was my blog.
And yes, I am the type of person to get my big, fat feelings twinged about something like that, and no, I have no reason to think I would ever really make a “best Christian blogs” list. But the more I think about why my blog would stay off these lists, the less I feel slighted. In fact, I even came up with a dumb little poem about it:
There’s a difference between
A Christian blog
And a blog by a Christian.
I have a Christian blog
As much as I have a Christian kitchen.
I have realized that no matter how well written this blog is -- and that is always my first goal -- it will never be a “best Christian blog” because it is not a “Christian blog.” It is not a blog devoted to Christian topics. It’s a blog by a writer devoted to Christ. And that writer may or may not be in the mood to write about grace, feeling flabby, hope, getting pissed at alligator pool floats, love, raising children to not be as shitty as she is, peace or resisting the urge to get a dead-sexy tan.
I remember my pastor Rob talking once about using our gifts to glorify God by using them as well as we can. He said that if he were to have surgery, he would want his surgeon to be diligently focused on his work, not lost in prayer with a scalpel dangling in his hand. And that’s what I try to do every time I sit down to write. I begin with a prayer of thanks for my gift and I ask God to help me use it to glorify Him, and then I write as well as I possibly can. Sometimes this comes in the form of talking openly about my Christian faith, and sometimes it comes in the form of bitching about getting stupid email forwards. I know there are those who would disagree, but I believe that God is glorified not just by my subject matter but by my execution of it as well.
That said, I do believe it is possible to write an excellent Christian blog. Ann Voskamp’s “Holy Experience” is one of the best examples I can think of. Her writing is as gorgeous as her photography, and she is genuinely lovely because she is filled with genuine love. Her blog touches the hearts of many Christians, and this is a truly valuable and good thing. But it is not my thing. I hope my writing touches the hearts of Christians, and I also hope it touches the hearts of people who find it by searching online, “how to tell if boobs are fake,” which, alarmingly, is a daily occurrence. I hope that sometimes it makes people cry, but I hope that it mostly makes people laugh. I hope it makes people want to read.
Acuff asked his readers, “What are the Christian blogs you find most uplifting or honest or funny or a million other things?” And I love his choice of adjectives because they are the ones most often in my mind when I go to write: I try to give you pieces that are uplifting, or honest, or funny. But mostly, I try to give you something great to read. Because I’m a Christian who writes a blog.
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