Why blog?

There is a brake company in the Dallas area that runs radio commercials featuring a very concerned and extraordinarily helpful employee explaining why a female caller needs to get her car in right away to save money and to be sure she is safe. They are even willing to stay later to make sure her car is safe. Impressed, she asks the question, “why do you do it?” And then the jingle singers let us know why. Because they really do care. That ad is for Just Brakes and I have no reason to doubt that they really do care. Someone asked me the other day a similar question about my almost daily blogs. “Why do you write a blog everyday?” The tone was incredulous. Why do you do it? Since I don’t have jingle singers I will have to write out my answer to a question that proved more complex than it seemed at first blush.

I describe blogging as ego journaling. There are a few dedicated and beleaguered readers of these humble ramblings that regularly visit to be occasionally blessed or mildly entertained. And I have to admit that I love that feedback and affirmation. But that is not enough of a reason to get up every morning and spend the time required to write daily posts to this blog.

A practical reason is that blogging has driven book sales a bit. Visitors to the Crosswalk.com blog often bounce over to the mother ship (the cleverly named daveburchett.com) and they will sometimes take a chance on buying one of my books. But that has not proven lucrative enough to justify the time spent.

I believe the real reason I have become so committed to these daily ramblings is purely selfish. The very public nature of blogging forces me to evaluate myself as a follower of Christ everyday I write. I would be a hypocrite of record proportions if I wrote about Jesus and never turned that focus on my own life. I rather like the forced accountability of being on the record. Several irate readers roundly criticized me when I called a Christian leader to task for behavior that reflected poorly on the name of Jesus. “How would you like to have people judging you like that?”,  several wrote smugly as if they had played the trump card of logic. My answer is I would like that very much. If my behavior in any way damages the name of Jesus I want to be accountable. I need to be accountable. If I do damage I want to have people who love me enough to tell me I am going astray. Very few people are looking for perfect, sinless Christians. But I have found a lot of people who are looking for authentic followers of Jesus. They are desperately looking for Christians who love others, admit their mistakes, accept the mistakes of others, are hopeful when hope isn’t in abundance, and joyful when circumstances don’t merit that response. I have often said that one authentic Christian can offset dozens, and maybe hundreds, of bad Christians. That is want I want to be as I grow in my faith. An authentic follower of Jesus. Honest about my many failures. Quick to repent and repair when I do fail. Grateful for every blessing and good thing that comes my way. Trusting of a God who has proved loving and faithful when bad things come along. I am not there yet.

The blogging helps me to daily examine how I am doing in that pursuit. Just like x-rays at various stages provide a basis to examine the progress of healing I can examine earlier posts to see how I am growing or regressing in my journey with Jesus. And that may be the main reason I blog. I can look back over the archives and see how God is working in my life. That is why I would encourage every reader of these humble ramblings to consider journaling (if you are modest) or blogging (if you are like me and my buddy Ray Pritchard). I look back in amazement at how the Holy Spirit was working in my heart before Joni was diagnosed with cancer. I had written a number of posts about troubles. For example, I wrote about life being hazardous and our faith does not guarantee no trouble will come our way. At the time I had no idea why that topic was on my radar. Now I realized how God was preparing me for the trial that was just over the horizon. I have followed how God has worked in our lives from Diagnosis Day to this point in the cancer journey. And I can read and be reminded how He has been faithful over and over in this trial.

Why do I blog? I am grateful that some of you apparently enjoy these daily posts. But I blog because it reminds me of how God is moving in the life of one Bad Christian.