Become a Better Faith Blogger: What Are You For?

In 2011, I felt prompted to focus on the word “redemptive” for my blogging and writing work. I’d spent plenty of time picking apart what I was against, but it’s far more difficult to build something, to explain what I’m for, and to live it with integrity.

I’ve watched my friends with toddlers.

It takes a few seconds to trash a room. Putting it all back together is far more challenging.

I wanted to be one of the people who learned how to articulate what he’s for rather than for being witty and sarcastic when destroying the supposedly flawed beliefs of another person.

One of the ways I’ve tried to reform my ways is to write what I’m for rather than what I’m against. Even if I’m clearly responding to something controversial, I make a point of only describing what I believe. This has helped remove me from reactionary, angry blog fights where everyone is trying to act more indignant than the last person at the latest flap.

I don’t know how successful I’ve been, but if anything, I have a much better sense of what I believe and my blood pressure has to be a bit lower.

There is one writer who has modeled this approach and who is both an extremely talented writer and someone who disagrees with me on quite a few things. If you made a checklist of what I believe, I’m sure blogger Lore Ferguson would skip over a few boxes, but even when she’s writing about sensitive issues, she is particularly talented at presenting her perspective with grace and integrity.

She doesn’t call people out. She doesn’t hit you over the head with her words. She remembers that there are people on both sides of our divides, and that sometimes there are more than two sides.

I think it’s particularly important to single out a blogger I sometimes disagree with for this blogging tip. I never have a problem reading Lore’s blog. There is trust, hope, and kindness in her writing. She’s not out to justify herself by tearing others down.

The greatest thing we can do with our blogs is to point others to what is beautiful and true. If we spend our time ripping apart what we dislike or hate, we’ll burn brightly and intensely for a few moments, but we’ll have nothing of lasting value to offer.

If I’m ever tempted to hammer out an angry, condemning, reactionary blog post about the latest vitriol from some pastor or blogger or whoever, I think of how Lore writes (Gary Bettman is my one exception, not even Lore can save him from my rage).

Read Lore’s post where she shares her process for addressing controversial topics: Swimming in the Shallow Waters.

“Diving into the wreck, using words to find purpose, to find my way, to see the damage and the treasure—this is why I write. This is why I have always written.”

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7 thoughts on “Become a Better Faith Blogger: What Are You For?

  1. HopeUnbroken

    i love this. i often shy away from controversy, not because i don’t feel passionately about things, but because i feel inadequate in my defense. perhaps if i look at it more from a position of sharing passionately about what i believe rather than building a case for what i DON’T believe. . . i would find the whole process a bit easier. and more true to myself.
    thanks for this!

  2. Alise

    I find this about Nicole Cottrell’s blog. She and I definitely don’t agree on much, but I don’t feel assaulted when I read her blog. That is always a big thing for me. Do I feel more informed about their views or do I feel like they have simply misrepresented my own views?

    Good stuff!

  3. Leanne Penny

    I absolutely agree, I love bloggers who can point to what is true, what the bible calls us to without bashing or tearing other people down.

    One thing that surely makes me nauseated is when Christ’s people overtly rip each other apart. There are surely rights and wrongs and there will always be differences of opinion but our connection as God’s kids and a thread of his love has to run through it.

  4. Lore Ferguson

    THanks again, Ed. It really is my deep desire to be known FOR something instead of AGAINST something—and perhaps even more deeply to be known for the Gospel more than anything else.

    I was reading Psalm 85 yesterday and it spoke of how righteousness and peace kiss each other and I thought, how perfectly beautiful. Justice and peace joining together, being FOR one another, perfectly complementing one another. I loved that. I want to be that.

    Thank you for the kind words and the encouragement.

  5. HopefulLeigh

    Great example! Lore makes it easy for people to engage with her on areas of disagreement because of how graciously she approaches the topic. I love that about her.

  6. Jen

    That is exactly the right way to describe inimitable Lore. Great post. I am a reactionary to the nth degree. I’m learning. Learning. Learning.

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