During my September “blog break” I had a couple of days when I couldn’t keep my hands off my blog. Not to add to it—but to subtract!

Sifting my blogging through The Sermon on the Mount (SOTM) left me red-faced-rebuked and pushed me urgently to remove a few posts! They’re still in my computer, for my own record and benefit, but they did. not. belong. in a public forum!

I “re-found” a lot of Christ’s teaching I had been missing—no, disregarding (for wasn’t it there all along,  readily available for me to read and apply at any time? And hasn’t it been long familiar to me? Don’t I even know much of it “by heart”?…) I guess you could say it re-found me!

There’s a lot we Christian bloggers can hastily post that would be better left unpublished—okay to say in private, but not to all the world, sometimes not even to any other human…

For one thing, reading Matthew 5 and Matthew 6, right after Matthew 4, brought them all  together in context with one another, which I must not have considered before! I now saw Jesus’ teaching on the Mount as the utter antithesis of Satan’s temptations in the wilderness. I also saw that what Christian bloggers, and writers in general, are encouraged (even pressured) to do often seems to lean toward the temptations more than toward Christ’s instructions.

SOTM says do your charitable deeds in secret. Yet we are encouraged, even pressured, to announce our giving and kind deeds before the world! 

SOTM says pray in secret. Yet, unthinkingly I’ve described “private” prayer times in the most public way now known to man (blush!) and sometimes even publish the specific words of my “secret” prayer online. (Whoah! Some “secret”!)

SOTM says fast in secret. Yet we give a play-by-play of our experience in fasting. Guilty there, too. 🙁

And so on.

Even as aware as I was of some of these slippery slope errors when I began blogging, I still fell into “running at the keyboard” and hastily hitting “Publish,” in “oblivious” but obvious disobedience to Christ!

The reason, the snare, lies in the very nature of blogging. The word “blog” is a contraction for “biographical log.” Its format is so like personal journaling that we can easily forget we’re telling the world!

Matthew still gives further relevant wisdom, as does Proverbs (about mouth and tongue), and during my break God also taught me some interesting lessons from “everyday” life. But this scripture portion was the most like an avalanche pounding down on me.

Yet I’m still blogging. As I said before, God hasn’t yet given me a blunt yes or no, to blog or not, but lots of wisdom and instruction that I must apply to this medium!

Making course corrections.


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5 thoughts on “Blogging and the Sermon on the Mount

  1. These are wonderful observations! It can be hard to remember that the whole world could read what is posted on a blog, and there are certainly some things that do not belong there! However, I wonder if, in some cases, from a humble (not boastful) heart, it might be beneficial to speak of some of the things you have mentioned here. I find that Christian community often speaks about personal experiences such as prayer, fasting, and charity in a way that is humble, helpful, and encourages growth. I don’t think this is wrong, because I know that the few examples given are evidences of more things being done in secret, and also because I know the people sharing their experiences are not doing so in order to boast (which I think is the main issue in the Sermon on the Mount). I could be wrong, but I think there are situations in which it is good, healthy, and beneficial to share these experiences with others.

  2. Good points, Mary. The state of the heart is the most important thing, isn’t it? And I certainly don’t think Jesus wanted us never to pray in community, for instance, or work together to benefit the poor, or share with each other what we’ve learned from our experiences about these things, for He taught about such elsewhere. But we do need to take His words seriously and also beware of slippery slopes, and in this case, I was personally convicted. If my blog is open for all to read, then what I relate of my experiences puts me, my life, and often others’, potentially on display before the whole world. Sobering thought, that!

  3. We do have the verses that say our trials are not only for our instruction but that we may help others…so discernment is key…what would God have us share?
    II Cor. 1:4… with the comfort with which we ourselves were comforted by God

  4. Hi Laurie,

    Good questions.

    First, I wonder if I didn’t write very clearly. I didn’t intend to imply we shouldn’t share our trials. That’s where God manifests His power in our weakness, and sharing what kind of trials we experienced and how He helped us in them puts us in a special place to comfort those in similar trials. They know we “get it.”

    But the Sermon on the Mount doesn’t say anything about that, instead speaks of personal *praying*, *giving* (money, goods, or services), and *fasting* in secret rather than openly on public display — and I evidently didn’t make that clear enough. (So I’ll have to consider some editing.)

    I do want to add, however, that we must use discretion in sharing our trials. The possibility of liable suits, or betraying a trust, or embarrassing (or harming) others who were involved and don’t want it publicized demands such caution. (A three-session seminar presented by a long-time editor of a major writers’ magazine warned me strongly about that.) I have experienced more trials than I’ve made known because of that, especially horrendous details or identifying people-markers. We can generalize, though, and pick and choose our details.

    I see I probably ought to do a post very soon on what the Proverbs showed me about this kind of thing, too.

    Thanks for this good feedback, Laurie. I really value this kind of dialog in the comments area of blogs, especially my own, here!

  5. Indeed. It is so important to remember what we’re really doing and keep a close eye on where our hearts are!

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