Word traps, verbal snares, and blog traffic

January 28, 2011

Spirituality, Uncategorized

By Charles Redfern

He’s there.  I’m convinced of it.  There’s a three-inch tall, invisible man perched on my shoulder.  He twists, bends, and breaks definitions while whispering in my ear, paralyzing me because I’m checking, re-checking, and re-re-checking my motives.  And he poses as my counselor.  He’s on my side.  He’s looking out for me.  He wants me to be a better Christian.

He revved up rapid-fire whispers when I read Lauren Holgate’s Ladasi blog of January 17.

Lauren Holgate

She lists a host of web sites she’s joined since she became a dedicated blogger in August.  There’s Business2Blogger, Seededbuzz, Blog Synergy, Book Blogs, and Pinterest.  Her traffic has flowed and she kindly shared her knowledge so we’d all become popular.  I began signing up …

Until I heard those whispers: “Stop.  You’re drawing attention to yourself – which means you’re not humble.  You must prove your humility before you’re eligible for all that blog traffic.” 

I was snared into one of those bedeviling thought wars.  They’re the Christian scourge: How do I prove I’ve climbed the humility ladder?  Humility is self-effacing, rendering humility self-assessments null and void.  What to do?  Ask someone else?  But I’m calling attention to myself if I ask for humility ratings – and I’m in trouble if I hear the reply, “I’ve noticed your humility.  You’re good at it.” 

Attention-drawing “humility?”  I’m mud. 

Round and round it goes: Even if I score low on the humility charts (the goal, of course), I must ask: Will I ruin Christianity if the blog traffic flows and I glow the arrogant glow?  And is not my worry about my humility proof of my egotism?  My!  Me!  Mine!  It’s obvious: I’d serve everyone best if I crawled into a cave … But doesn’t that very thought (I am worthy only of cold darkness and granite slabs) prove my qualifications for the great heights?  Look at me!  I think I’m a creep!  Therefore, I’m worthy of ticker-tape parades!

Thank you, CS Lewis: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.”  Handsome men and beautiful women do not think of themselves as ugly, they just don’t think of themselves – which means they can innocently enjoy their own pictures just as much as they smile over the photos of others.  In fact, the truly humble are deaf to the little man’s whispers because they give him no guilt-riddling hooks — and humble Christian bloggers take advantage of B2B, Seededbuzz, Blog Synergy, and – I might add – Networked Blogs and The Blog Farm – just like the Apostle Paul traveled the Roman roads to spread the Gospel.

Truly humble people flick off that little man, which I’ve done.  His whispers are too loud.

About Charles Redfern

Charles Redfern is a writer, activist, and clergyman living in Connecticut with his wife and family. He's currently writing two books, with more in his head.

View all posts by Charles Redfern


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One Comment on “Word traps, verbal snares, and blog traffic”

  1. Lauren Says:

    Wow. Well that was not where I expected a buzz on my post to go. 😉 I agree – the mark of a true Christian is humility, and yes, it can be difficult to define. Truth be told, blogs are generally a bit narcissistic. This can’t exactly be helped considering they can only reflect their author.

    When I first started blogging, I thought it might be a great way to make some money. Not so easy – starting from scratch means you’ve got to build a network, get your PR up, etc. I haven’t made any money off of blogging yet. But what I have found is several new like-minded friends, an easy way to keep track of life, inspiration from other blogs, and a place to write freely. I do love to write.

    I have wondered: will posting about myself come off as prideful? And, like you’ve concluded here, it really depends on where your heart is when you write the post. It occurred to me, though, that I love seeing what other people do on their blogs. Their stories, their writing, their handmade items, their art. It all inspires me. I don’t view them as prideful for sharing their gifts. I definitely don’t see you as prideful for sharing such a well-written post on your blog.

    So . . . Go for it! I’m going to check out The Blog Farm now. 😉


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