Since meditating on the verses about helpful words, I’m actually finding it difficult to write a longer post. The words all seem extraneous.
The problem with paying more attention to these issues is that trying to do right can turn into an obsession, turning the focus away from Christ our Center.
Then you get questions like this which sound deep and insightful but cause hours of unnecessary debate: Does every article have to be a dissertation? Does every spoken word have to be a sermon? Every thought a revelation?
Or am I missing the point altogether?
First of all, the verses I included were mainly referring to spoken word. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." -Ephesians 4:29
Since a website is written form, I think it requires even more careful thought since we have the option of editing and are presenting material that may be read by many for years to come.
To “build others up” is just like building a work of architecture. You want them to have a strong foundation. You want them to be sturdy and not fall. That’s all.
Online journals can do both harm and good. Harm can be caused in the form of careless words when a post includes something that can bring someone down: gossip, ill-directed humor, criticism, prejudice. Or just an unhealthy focus on something that should not be given priority in a Christian’s life. It’s not healthy for us to think about it and we could cause someone else to stumble.
When I look for a blog that could be edifying to me, I like the ones that 1) Relate to my situation and/or interests (missions, cultural issues, Christian ladies, Americans in Russia, teaching English). 2) Present Christian values from a real-life viewpoint. 3) Are updated regularly and show a progression of thought.
Where's the edifying part, you may ask? Reading about someone else's trials and triumphs provides inspiring examples for me. Either that or it points me back to a certain place in the Bible. Or encourages me to ask questions and challenge myself to do better.
I don’t think it’s necessary to be extremely profound in each blog post, simply because everyday life doesn’t consist only of profound moments. Why attempt to portray something that isn’t there? Yes, sermons are interesting, but the average person reads it and thinks, “My life isn’t made up of sermons as his is. Where did I go wrong?” On the other hand, I also don’t see a need to publish all the intimate (or possibly boring) details. Those should either be filtered out or reserved for friends and family. It is necessary to cultivate those real-life relationships and not neglect them for virtual ones.