The Underbelly of Blogging * Misplaced Focus

Listen to the voice who calls you the beloved,
because otherwise you will run around begging
for affirmation, for praise, and for success.
And then you are not free.
-  Henri Nouwen  -

Truth be told, an unspoken focus of blogging {and much of social media} is to gather an ever-expanding crowd of enthusiastic friends, fans, and followers around ourselves.

This validation allows us to feel visible, accepted, effective ... and to believe we're soaring upward toward whatever goals we've set for ourselves.  

For those of us who are prone to craving recognition and endless words of affirmation or battling an insatiable need to belong, the result is often feeling 'less than' when all the glory doesn't pan out.  For this misplaced yearning for approval and acceptance leads to an unsettling up-and-down, round-and-round twirl akin to a merry-go-round on steroids.  

If the kudos and complements are coming our way, we're flyin' high.  But when the accolades are sporadic, fading, or few, we begin to question our effectiveness, our giftedness, our worthiness.

Bottom line?  If we become fixated on humans to define our value and unwittingly allow ourselves to be held hostage by the whims and opinions of others, we will always end up disillusioned because praise will come and go, transient like late winter winds.  

The Apostle Paul shared a simple, powerful 8 word message to the church in Corinth that still speaks bold truth to us today.

We make it our goal to please Him.
-  2 Corinthians 5:9  -  

Imagine the peaceful, purposeful freedom that comes to our creativity, writing, and online connections when we find our complete identity in Jesus Christ.  We become able to generously pour out all that God has given us with no agenda except to bring Him joy and to encourage those He brings on our path.  We're not looking to others to satisfy our insatiable cravings because God has called us His beloved and we believe it, even as we're learning what it looks like to daily live out that unfathomable grace.

Let the beloved of the Lord rest in Him.
-  Deuteronomy 33:12  -

And if and when the applause comes from those around us, we quickly release every bit of it right back up to Him, with great delight and sheer gratitude.  For He is the one who gave us anything of value we passed on to others.


also in this little series ...


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