When I started blogging, one of the pieces of advice I regularly read in how-to-blog articles was to know your target audience.
So, when I write I have two or three friends in mind. I don’t write about issues in their lives, I just imagine that they’re sitting there reading the post or that were sitting at a homeschool meeting visiting. I explain the issues and what I believe as if I was trying to explain it to one of them.
This really helps me.
First of all, these ladies know me and care about me, so sharing my heart with them is not something that’s intimidating. If they disagree with me, they’ll be more than willing to agree to disagree. And, they know that even if I disagree with someone theologically, ideologically, or philosophically, I’ll still treat them with kindness.
Some characteristics that my friends represent and that they share with my target audience are:
1) Humble. It’s really hard to get along with arrogant people. It makes for very difficult interaction.
2) Teachable. Along with humble goes teachable. If you’re so arrogant that you think you already know everything there is to know, there really is no point in reading my blog. The only thing reading the blog will do then is make you angry that I don’t agree with your awesome opinion.
3) Scripture-searchers. If you’re not willing to check the scriptures to see that teachers (all teachers including me) are biblically solid, then this isn’t the blog for you. I’m assuming that my readers both want to be spurred on to an accurate understanding of scripture and that they’re willing to reconsider their preconceived ideas when comparing it to scripture.
4) Emotionally controlled. Many of my posts are a rational, logical, theological discussion. If you come at a discussion with out-of-control emotions, you’re going to be angry, unkind and hot-headed. None of those are edifying for believers. Our tongues make large fires unless we’re exceedingly careful.
5) Rational. If we’re going to have a theological discussion, it needs to be based on logic and not how you feel. Truth is absolute. If what God says makes you feel upset that’s unfortunate, but it doesn’t change the truth. Name calling, accusations, saying you’re offended because I believe differently than you –these are all emotional manipulation and not a logical, rational exchange of ideas. I’m just as emotional if not more so (thank you, Hashimoto’s) than the next lady, but what we believe should be firmly planted in logic and truth. The heart, the seat of our emotions, is wicked and not to be trusted.
6) Interest in what I’m writing. If you’re not interested in the topic why read it? Believe me, I won’t know or care if you skip reading my blog.
No one forces anyone to read this blog.
I started the blog because I love to write.
I don’t write to make people happy or to try to get people to like me. I decided from the beginning that I was going to write what I believe and let God do whatever He wanted.
He is doing something because I’ve had nearly 50,000 views in under three months!
I’m not writing to make people happy. I’m okay if they don’t agree with me. It doesn’t bother me. I actually expect people not to agree with me.
Here’s the thing: you don’t have to read stuff you don’t agree with. You can just scroll past. That’s what thousands of people do every day.
More people should.
If you’re never going to agree with me and if my posts just make you angry, don’t read it. You’re probably not my target audience anyway, and I’m okay with that.
Even if I disagree with you, I’ll always be kind to you, especially if I see you in real life. I won’t attack you on your Facebook wall or accost you on mutual friends Facebook walls and try to bait you into an argument. That’s very immature behavior which does not reflect maturity in Christ.
I’ll not make accusations that you hate the people you disagree with (as others have accused me).
I disagree with Catholicism but that doesn’t mean I hate all Catholics. I disagree with people who live together before marriage but I care deeply about many people who have done so. I don’t have to agree with you to act in a loving way.
The same is true of Christians I disagree with. I can disagree with you and still be kind. Disagreement doesn’t equal hate. That’s an asinine association.
If I post something that I believe and it’s the opposite of what you believe, it’s not a personal attack on you. It’s likely that I didn’t even think of you or didn’t even know what you believed.
I had my three friends in mind when I wrote my post, I can promise you.
To those who have accused me of personally attacking them or condemning them, please consider this: I have held these opinions for years and years before this blog. In that time when we interacted –especially when we interacted in real life– did I ever treat you with anything other than kindness? Did you even know I disagreed with you? I’m guessing you didn’t because I’m not about mistreating people. I’m about addressing ideas –especially false ideas about the Bible.
How I treat people has not and will not change.
If you feel attacked maybe it’s the Holy Spirit’s conviction. Maybe you should pray and seek scripture. That’s what a prudent Christian would do.
As I’ve mentioned before, if you take it personally, that’s on you, because I know that I’ve acted politely and I can sleep at night with a clear conscience.
I encouraged those who don’t like what I write to go find other blogs. There are literally millions of blogs out there. Surely, someone else shares your beliefs.
But don’t track me down or stalk me on social media just to attack me for my beliefs.
I didn’t track you down. I just posted my option on a blog that you can choose not to read.
Get your own blog and post your opinions there. That’s what emotionally healthy people do.
Emotionally healthy people do not track down or stalk other people on social media. That’s just weird.
And very unhealthy.
Did you know that, statistically, those who create arguments online are highly likely to have serious undiagnosed mental health disorders? Like I said, emotionally healthy people don’t behave like that.
Don’t accuse me of sinning, or hurting people, or attacking people just because I have an opinion.
That is just bad form.
If the fruits of the spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control, why are those characteristics so rarely displayed in Christian exchanges –especially exchanges online?
Remember that your character is showing –very vividly– especially when you post online. Post your opinion on your own online space and respect other people’s online spaces. How you interact matters.
Every time you create an online argument on social media, you accomplish nothing, no one changes their mind, and you tarnish your testimony which matters far more than any opinion you could have.
PS If you’re one of the people who has stalked me on social media or tracked me down and baited me for an argument on mutual friend’s posts, I am actually very concerned about you. This is very unhealthy behavior that reflects very unstable mental conditions. I recommend that you see a psychiatrist and find out what is wrong with you. Healthy people do not behave like this. I would tell you this on social media, but it is the better part of wisdom not to engage people who are mentally unstable.