The reason community is emphasized is because this year, 2018, I felt God press the word community on my heart.
For those who have followed this blog since January, you may be familiar when two crucial post series to this blog was made.
Community Spotlight & Community Prayer
Can you believe we have spent a whole year praying for the community?
This year, I also worked on trying to create a series that pulled more people in like continuing the Alphabet Devotional. I’m anticipating more interviews and discussions with others this coming next year.
Community certainly taught me how to reach out, but it was not the only thing I learned. I learned the negative side too, and this year has probably been the hardest.
- I saw more about how legalism of scripture divides us.
-It gets ugly quick.
- I saw how differing thoughts on scriptures can go from a discussion to those discussing, which included me, becoming guarded and frustrated.
-A discussion should never become hurtful or encourage downgrading others.
- I saw how people who have a lot of knowledge in scripture and sometimes theory would downgrade others who didn’t, or make assumptions/ judgments about people they didn’t know.
-I’ve been talked down to because people who have read only one post think I don’t know what I am talking about, only to back peddle in some statements after I respond. (This isn’t to point fingers, rather, to be honest.)
- I saw and experienced through myself and others how our emotions distract us from talking in a way Christ would approve. How our passions often are filtered through anger and frustration, not zeal. Our rants become meaningless and not helpful to others.
-I’ve deleted some posts because God showed me how ridiculous and short-sighted they were. All because they were fueled on a short-lived passion of frustration.
But through these negatives, this is what God taught me.
- Be patient and kind when people disagree.
- STOP responding, it is not about proving my point. It is not about being emotional. Or to get that “last” comment in. If people disagree, LET THEM!
– This is still taking time. I am an explainer. But I’ve seen how sometimes people are not going to accept my views and explanations. I can’t change it, in the same way, they can’t change mine. Don’t keep commenting in a discussion when it is evident tension is rising.
- DO NOT COMMENT ON A DISAGREEABLE POST! – Plain and simple. If the person who wrote it is strongly against what we think, our comment is probably not going to change the writer’s mind.
-Does not matter if at the bottom discussion is encouraged. No. Don’t go there! More than likely, our comments may start a disagreement, which then may escalate. When it does…it’s very hard to continue to speak in a Christlike manner, without emotions getting involved. We want to show Christ? Stay out of places that will encourage drama.
- Seek forgiveness quickly! – We are told to be peacemakers. It doesn’t matter how something started. It doesn’t matter who is “more” right or wrong. If there is a problem, we need to seek forgiveness from our actions and the situation. This INCLUDES the blogging community!
– We’re not going to be perfect. If we have an issue with a fellow brother or sister, we need to take care of the issue now. We don’t want to encourage grudges. If our post riled up people, we need to clarify, we may need to apologize, etc. Be willing and listen to people, even if we disagree.
- Try not to assume where a person’s walk with Christ is. Especially if we don’t know this person.
– I know for me, sometimes I misunderstand because reading a post only gives so much. But we must do our best not to make assumptions.
- Quit trying to teach in every comment or use every moment to teach. People want to be talked to more than they want to be preached at. I truly believe lessons God gives us to give to others will flow naturally…not forced or feel out of place.
-If all we sound like is someone who is higher than others, has more knowledge/wisdom, etc, we won’t be relatable. We need to ask ourselves, “Why should someone care about what I am saying? Is it relatable to this person RIGHT NOW? Does this give God glory or does it put the spotlight on me? Am I saying this because this is an opportunity or simply because I can make it a teaching moment?”
- That being said, have patience with those who only know how to reach out to others in a certain way.
-God has been putting this on my heart. It’s important we understand, God may lead us differently than someone else. But when we see how these particular approaches or techniques may be more harmful than good there is a way to discuss this…with grace and compassion. Sometimes people really don’t know. I see a lot of Christian bloggers think they have to “speak” in a particular way, and we don’t. But sometimes hearing this is challenging. We need to be gentle and understanding.
With everything being said, the things God has taught me about the blogging community especially has really helped me. It also has made me more aware and grateful of the moments I can share with others in person. Especially with my home church, and how I could be able to help others in ways that I can’t on my blog.
I’ve learned, as a whole, community means we need to reach out to others. We need to lift them up even when it is hard on us, like when we disagree. We need to make sure we are sharing Christ but more importantly, showing Him and reflecting Him to others.
Lift Him first, and then lift others up.
Time is short.
What has God taught you this year?
Monthly Scripture- (NIV) Romans 1:17, “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed–a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
*** Community Prayers | December ’18 – Join Me In Praying For Each Other And If You Have A Request To Add Let Me Know.
Help For Christian Bloggers- Christian Blogging 101/Help
General Help For Blogging- Blogging 101
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath
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