When I decided to stay home with my kids, I started reading mom blogs like tweens study Seventeen. Sure, I wanted to prepare myself for this full-time mom gig, but mainly I wanted to know I wasn't alone. I needed reassurance that I was doing the "right thing," and I searched for writers who said I was.
But it didn't take long for that to change. Soon I came across successful, eloquent Christian writers who were different than the "do-what-you-want" bloggers I'd been reading. The other ladies said staying home with the kids was a good thing to do. But these new writers argued it was the only thing a Christian mom should ever do.
Naturally, I was shocked. I said, "Whaaa?!" and then my stubbornness kicked in. I kept reading their blogs just to argue how wrong they were (with the Preacher, of course). This kept up until I realized what they were doing, and I stopped cold:
They weren't just drawing readers who agreed with them (who happened to be in no short supply). They were also baiting people like me. How? By creating controversy.
Later, some of those bloggers wrote books for huge publishing companies -- really famous books, mind you, on bestseller lists and whatnot. And can you guess what happened? You're right, smarty pants: They stepped away from that controversial platform. It was never heard from again. But. . . where did their convictions go?
Forget that it's obnoxious -- not to mention wrong -- to pretend your position makes you superior. You've created a following, and that's what matters. Right?
The thing is, I didn't stop reading those bloggers mainly because I disagreed with their convictions. I'm ok with differences, and I love my all my friends, even the ones who disagree with me. And yes, even the ones who are wrong. (Ha! Did you catch what I did there?)
No, it wasn't that I'm against different convictions. I'm just against convictions that do the wrong thing for us all.
If my convictions
insinuate I've got more points with God than you,
make me feel better about myself in comparison to you,
give me excuses for avoiding "people like you," and
become a point of pride instead of a miracle of grace. . .
then I'm doing them wrong.
And that's why I don't read those blogs anymore. If that's the way they attract a crowd, I'm out. I'm not getting in that sandbox, guys. (It's probably the yucky kind with no lid, anyway.)
In the end, convictions aren't about comparison, superiority, or points at all. I can do that mess all on my own! They're about about humbling myself, releasing perfectionism, and letting grace bear the fruit stubbornness never could.
A lot like writing for Lent, I guess.
(Maybe I should just fast next year.)
Playing on the swings instead,