Last October I published my very first article on A Softer Voice (thanks to Patty’s great teaching and a generous measure of perseverance on her part). It might as well have been typed, stuffed it into a tin can and buried in the back yard. Well, maybe nothing that drastic. After all, the other members of the Clearing the Blog Fog class knew it was there. It was also tagged with a few words that would draw a few unsuspecting surfers to this new endeavor.
The name of my blog tells the story. I’ve always struggled with whether to remain invisible or step forward. Do I audition for a solo, or wait for one to drop into my open rehearsal folder?
About four weeks ago this hide-and-seek dilemma resurfaced. I was posting to my blog, adding buttons and pictures, tiptoeing through the blogs of others and leaving calling cards. Suggestions of sites from other bloggers led to following and being followed. But I remained comfortably seated in the back of the room.
It was time to “audition” once again. Facebook was the next obvious choice for baring my heart and soul publicly. But would that be self-promotion or a genuine desire to witness through writing? It all came down to the right motivation.
Occasionally, when I seek an answer from God’s Word, I open my Bible and begin to read. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. On this particular Word search, my Bible opened to James 3:13-18 (NASB). Verse 14 addresses “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart” and warns that arrogance lies against the truth.
Ruling out bitter jealousy was easy. The “selfish ambition in your heart” put my Facebook debut temporarily on hold. I continued to read:
“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every evil thing.
But the wisdom from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and
good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy.
And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in
peace by those who make peace.”
Once again, Satan taunted me: “Be safe. Don’t put yourself out there. What if someone thinks you’re just looking for attention? What if someone doesn’t like what you’ve written? Are you sure you want to be called a hypocrite?”
Do I measure up to God’s heart standards? Not by a long shot. But I know my heart’s desire: Share God’s love and spread the good news of Jesus Christ.
Armed with God’s Word, I could say, “Get thee behind me,” to the discourager and, “Facebook, here I come,” to cyber space. The invitation to join Jewels of Encouragement (www.jewelsofencouragement.com) soon followed. Coincidence? Maybe.
Is something keeping you in the shadows when you should:
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NASB)