My vanity got the better of me yesterday. For months, I’ve been praying about whether or not I should try to promote this blog. Part of me knew I needed to be content with a small readership base. In fact, earlier this week, I finally decided not to pursue any more avenues of publicizing it. I would trust God’s sovereignty to bring my articles to the women He wanted them to reach.
Then yesterday morning I received a message from a woman who administrates a website for writers. She’d read my article, Transforming America, and claimed to “love” it. Further, she asked my permission to cross-post it on her site, explaining that she desires a diversity of viewpoints.
Glancing at the articles already posted on her site, I noticed that they overwhelmingly represented liberal perspectives. “Maybe,” I told myself, “she wants my article in order to bring balance to her site.” Her complements on my writing skills felt so good! And I thrilled at the thought of more people finding The Outspoken TULIP!
So, like Eve in the garden, I bit into the fruit. I allowed her to cross-post my article. All afternoon, I savored the sweet taste of drawing readers to my blog, of course convincing myself that I wanted more people to read the Gospel.
I finished yesterday’s blog post late yesterday, so I couldn’t check email until late. But my in-box had several notifications of comments on my article. Obviously, I expected some negative comments, but surely they would engage intelligently with my content.
Instead, I encountered an onslaught of personal attacks including a very hurtful remark regarding my profile picture. Honestly, the experience reminded me of 7th Grade. I’ll spare you further details, except to say that the administrator (who so eagerly answered my emails yesterday) now seems a lot less happy to send responses today.
I wonder if she wanted my article in order to take me down a peg. I realize that’s only speculation, and that only the Lord can judge her motives. Even John, who normally sees the best in everyone, has expressed some cynicism, though.
Although the Lord used this unpleasant episode to convict me of my vanity, He also used it to encourage me. Yes, I know that seems odd. But consider the message of the blog post she put on her website. That article focused on the fact that Christians should expect animosity from the world. The more I’ve thought about the vitriolic reactions of the commenters on that website, the more amused I am that they inadvertently proved the very point I wanted to make.
Being human, I don’t particularly enjoy people making fun of me. But the humiliation I’ve endured, besides confronting me with my pride and selfish ambition, gives me an opportunity to rejoice.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. ~~Matthew 5:11-12 (ESV)
9 thoughts on “Sweet Apples Rot Quickly, And Other Consequences Of Promoting My Blog”
I appreciate your transparency as always, Debbielynne. I’m sorry about what happened, especially the inking remark.
I too decided awhile ago that God will bring the people He wants to my blog. OTOH, you don’t want to waste your time writing if no one reads, which can entice me to think about more promotion. OTOH, God is sovereign and He is on control of who reads so I determine to be content with that.
Um, not sure how I had such a grand typo, but that was supposed to read ‘unkind’ not inking!
As I was typing this post, the administrator of the website did email back. Not really an apology, but okay.
Also, there ended up being a commenter who defended the Christian position on same sex marriage.
Hi DebbieLynne, I wanted to “unlurk” to just say I really appreciate the work you put in here. Your sweet spirit just travels right on through the internet. I am not a Calvinist and I feel you don’t really have a good grasp of what people who reject Calvinism actually believe – I know what you used to believe and that was wrong but it’s not what all people who reject Calvinism actually believe – but I only say that to point out that I disagree with much of what you say and the links you post, but I still check you frequently because your spirit is so sweet and I know you are working and striving to serve the Lord in your life. I am so sorry that you had this bad experience. I know it doesn’t matter how old we get we can get thrown back into some hurtful places in an instant. Bless you and John! I hope you all are staying cool!
Thank you for this comment, Cela. As a former Armimian, I appreciate the areas in which you disagree with me. A man I almost dated (long before I accepted Reformed Theology) said he prayed I would see “the beauties of Calvinism.” I thought he was nuts! I hope you understand that, while I firmly believe Reformed Theology is rooted in Scripture, I also believe Armimian Theology strives to rightly understand God’s Word.
What a wonderful testimony that you and I, despite our differences, find unity in the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for your kind and empathetic comment. And please…don’t hesitate to voice disagreement at any time. As long as you substantiate what you say with Scripture, I’m open to your perspective.
DebbieLynne, this is probably an oddball comment (though since it’s coming from me, possibly not!), but lately you’ve posted things that are more personal, and…it makes you seem so much more ‘human’. Not that you aren’t! It’s only that sometimes, reading faith blogs, the authors so often/usually seem far more near Christlikeness than I could ever be. I literally cannot imagine them ever, ever sinning at all. It can be intimidating and discouraging, especially on those bad days when we’ve not stumbled into but jumped into sin. As Jennifer wrote, you are very honest & transparent here…and it’s something I can also identify with, to the point I stopped blogging altogether for a very long while (twice). But it’s so relatable. Thank you for being so honest with us, your readership. It’s very loving of you, in a way, I suppose. You are always very honest with us. I’d probably be kind of intimidated, sitting down for a cuppa with you, but…not as much as with some people! 😉
And yes, God works *all* things according to His purpose. If it is His intention for someone to stumble across your blog and thereby have their eyes opened, nothing in all creation can stop that from happening! We need to trust Him in that, and know, too, that He sees our labours, when it seems nobody else (seriously, not even the dog) notices them at all.
You’ve raised an interesting point. Generally, I’ve tried to fight the temptation to write about myself because I want to keep the focus on Christ. Actually, I’ll continue trying to keep that focus. Many female false teachers, under the guise of “authenticity” and “transparency,” write way too much about themselves, so that Jesus becomes all about them.
So, while I definitely want to be honest that I’m a wretched sinner in constant need of a Savior, I must discipline myself to keep Him center stage. That’s hard for an egotist like me. Please pray that I’ll write this blog for His glory, not my own.
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Awww, Debbie, so sorry about this! I know how you feel. A year or so ago, I had a guy decide to link to one of my posts in order to rip me apart. It was NO fun and I really had to decide if I was blogging for my glory or the Lord’s glory. I know you can relate 🙂 and I have also faced the same question about promoting my blog! I used to read Micheal Hyatt’s blog and he claimed that Christian authors and bloggers could and even should promote themselves in order that more people would hear the good news. But something just didn’t sit right with me. Around that same time I heard John MacArthur say he never promoted himself. “If we take care of the depth of our ministries, God will take care of the breadth.” So now I am totally at peace leaving it all in God’s hands. And wouldn’t you know it– I had a post go viral –it wasn’t even that great of a post!! But it did increase my readership substantially with zero help from me! And I’ve stopped reading Micheal Hyatt, too!