Friday, October 21, 2005

Battle for points or hearts?

So far I have been totally unsuccessful at Battle of the Blogs on Blog Explosion. (For those not familiar to the game, blogs go against each other, and whichever is voted the best after 15 votes cast is considered the winner). I'm currently ranked 1876 out of 1944, and have not won any of my 16 battles. So far the most losses without a win is 31, and the worst record is 142 and 582--for a score of -297.

Now I must admit I would prefer to win, at least once in a while. But despite my record, I don't intend to stop. Apparently others feel the same way. So why continue? Is failing a good thing?

Well, each time I battle, I know I'll get 15 people to look at my blog (though for probably no more than several seconds at a time, since the game doesn't allow for long perusals). Does that mean that popularity is big on my list? I won't lie; I like to be liked. But what's more important to me is that the messages I believe God is giving me are being read and are touching people.

Is that a cop out? You can see it anyway you like. Yes, I wish I had better blogging skills. I wish I could write better, understand html codes (or whatever they're called) better, get more comments, and so on. I know that there are plenty of people who are much better in many ways than me. And I believe that God would have me keep growing in my ability to serve him. I think I'm doing that. I have learned a lot about websites (this is my first, and it started this past July) and blogging since I started.

I'll continue to grow in knowledge and ability. But I don't think that God would have me wait on the sidelines until I'm one of the top bloggers before I tell what's on my heart. Think of it. How many of us in some form of ministry don't directly impact the number of people that our pastors do? And should a pastor of a small church stop preaching because he doesn't reach tens of thousands of people each week?

In some nations, Christians are outnumbered big time by those who hate and persecute Christians. But they keep plugging away, touching and, by God's grace, changing hearts wherever they can. Maybe it's one or two at a time. Maybe they are babies in Christ, and can't present the salvation message with the same expertise as a more mature believer. But if they know God, they know that He can multiply what we have based on our heart, not merely our ability. Likewise, those of us who lack in ability will have our influence multiplied by God's grace, if honoring and glorifying Him is truly our motive.

In a recent message I gave to some youth in a detention center, I discussed biblical success. I told them that success that comes from a heart devoted to God and His ways is, in God's eys, more truly successful than "success" that comes from a heart opposed to God and His ways. So, I believe that blogs and websites and books and songs that glorify evil and that have thousands and millions of readers and listeners are not as truly successful as those same media that only reach a small percentage of that amount of people but that do glorify God.

So please, if you are like me--doing your best to glorify and honor the Lord but not gaining the readership and popularity you desire, don't fret. Keep your heart in the right place. Yes, keep growing in your abilities, but don't let that take the place of growing in spiritual maturity. And for those of you that have gained large numbers of followers but who are promoting (whether explicitly or implicitly) messages that would offend God, I pray that God helps you see what true success is.

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At 17:34, Blogger William Robbins said...

I think you're doing great with your blog. Sometimes it isn't the number of eyes that visit your blog that counts, but how it affects those who do. And I also wanted to thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and leaving some great comments. Anytime you would like a link to your blog just let me know.

Take care and God bless.

At 17:50, Blogger Jeff said...

Hi William, thanks for your encouragement. If you want to link to my blog, that's up to you, but I'd greatly appreciate it.

At 17:55, Blogger Raida said...

I think your blog is wonderful, Jeff.

Along the lines that your previous commenter had mentioned - the amount of people who read may not matter if you've touched and/or enlightened just one.

You're doing a great job. Keep up the good work.

With Eternal Light

At 15:38, Blogger eph2810 said...

WOW Jeff. This post just speaks from my heart. I myself, wanted to post something simular, but haven't had the guts to do it. I am still affraid that I would offend someone, but then again, many people are already offened when they see that you are a confessing Christian.
So, don't give up on Battle of the Blogs - you might touch someone who needs to hear the hope you have...You might not find out until you get to heaven who you have touched in this life...
In His grip,
<>< Eph2810

At 13:38, Blogger Jeff said...

Raida, I'm glad more than one person other than me sees it that way.

And eph2810, thanks for the affirmation. You also continue reaching out and blessing others.

At 11:54, Blogger Jeff said...

Eph210, thanks for your generous post on your blog. God bless.


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