...I got what I wished for.
I received thank-you notes from readers who appreciated my honesty and boldness about what God's up to. But I also got e-hate-mail from readers who disagreed with me, telling me I had fallen from the path of truth and that I needed immediate rescue.
Honesty, my reaction to the negative comments was cowardly. I took the opposition-letters as a threat. In my head, I had placed the approval of others as a higher priority than finding my worth in Jesus. So, I decided it would be better to not say anything and offend no one instead of say something that could offend anyone.
I chickened out, and stopped blogging.
But God was well at work.
In the months that followed my decision to stop, I was confronted by the reality of what I'd done. I had, in a way, chosen to live a different life than Jesus lived. As Jesus spoke with people during His life, many of them became furious with Him. He had effectively destroyed their idea of what life looked like, and instead of taking a cue from Him and asking if they maybe needed to adopt a new mindset, they decided that getting rid of Him (read: KILLING Him)would be easier than changing their life based on what He said. I had personally chosen to not be OK with the very thing that Jesus came here to do; live a life in relationship with the Father, no matter how it's perceived by the people around you.
I guess my real reason for not blogging any longer was because I've always had an issue with feeling accepted. I've thought of myself as 'not handsome' and 'too nerdy' for a long time. I've assumed that people inherently thought I wasn't cool and that my goal was to change their initial opinion about me. I've made acceptance from people more important than acceptance from God. When people started reacting negatively to my blog posts, I got scared of losing whatever amount of 'coolness' I thought I had built up. (Recently, God has been hard at work transforming me in these obvious lies I've been buying into for years, to which I'm unbelievably thankful for.)
The truth is, God's truth is absolutely going to offend people. Why? Because His truth goes against our human nature (i.e. sinful nature) in every way possible. I shouldn't be scared of people opposing what I say - I should EXPECT it! In order to follow Jesus whole-heartedly, we need to let Him crush our pride, individualism, arrogance, and unwillingness to change. We need to let Him destroy OUR minds and give us HIS mind (Rom. 12:2).
I'm not saying I won't ever slip up and say something wrong or half-true... my life is in-process, just like everyone else's. But please know that slip-ups will never be intentional, will always be corrected, and that I rely on my team of accountability partners to call me out on issues like that. My #1 goal isn't to make people upset - it's to live Christ out loud. That will make some people really happy and encourage their walk with Him. It will also freak out those who aren't willing to take a second-look at their beliefs and question why they oppose what I say.
Jesus said in Matthew 10:19-20 that when His followers are persecuted for speaking His truth, "Do not worry what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." That's what I'm banking on; that God's been given the reins to my life, and that He may say whatever He wants to whomever He wants through me.
So from here on out, I'll be blogging as often as I feel led (a few times a week or so - sometimes more, sometimes less). I pray that these words do what I'd originally set out to do - to wear my life-in-Christ on my sleeve, encourage those who need encouraging, and provoke those who need provoking. I will stand before Him one day and give an account for everything that He asked me to do, and I don't plan on letting this part of my life fall into an 'incomplete' column before Him. I encourage you to do the same.