Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Proverbs for Christian Blogging: The Necessity of Fixed Eyes and Guarded Hearts

It was my second concussion that was the most embarrassing.  It was a rainy Friday afternoon, when I finally had the opportunity to play football with the big boys.  (Of course, I’m not really sure that it was rainy—I was concussed, remember—but it sounds good anyways). 

Here I was 4’8, 12 years old, and finally playing football with my dad and his friends on lunch break.  Being the short kid all through elementary school (and even now in adult life) I know that I’m going to be underestimated until I prove myself.  In football I would never get a pass thrown my way until I could show my ninja skills by intercepting passes on defense. 

We had been playing for about 10-15 minutes and I still was getting very little action.  Then, it happened.  Nobody else must have been open.  The quarterback threw a pass my way.  I caught it and took off running like the wind (probably more of a minor breeze).  I was really gaining some yards, juking and spinning, and getting past all those older guys.  I was yards away from the touchdown, when all of a sudden I found myself at home on the couch. 

What happened you ask?  Did one of the big guys catch me?  Nope.  My foe was much more gangly and solid than any of my dads co-workers.  My demise came from a steadily rusting jungle gym.  (One of those things that is pictured off to the side).  I ran smack into that thing full speed.  It knocked me out and ruined my chance at stardom and my dad’s opportunity to eat his ham sandwich during lunch break. 

Here I learned what Proverbs taught years ago:

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. (Proverbs 4:25 ESV)

In other words if you are too busy juking and spinning and looking behind at the guys chasing you, then you’ll miss the rock solid jungle gym that is getting ready to smack you in the face. 

Focused Blogging

I have found blogging to be similar to not running into a jungle gym.  There are a million things that can distract bloggers.  Tons of controversy.  Lots of books being written and ideas being tossed around.  Many solutions to perceived problems.  A myriad of interpretations of Scripture and application points being proffered.  It can be quite easy to get swept up in the ever changing world wide web. 

Faithful bloggers will have a consistent goal (one that is grounded in the unchanging gospel) and keep their eyes on that; otherwise you’ll just be tossed to and fro by the ever changing online climate.  For me I have made it my aim to “so live and so study and so serve and so preach and so write that Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen God, be the only boast of this generation”.  That’s a tweak of a John Piper quote in Don’t Waste Your Life. 

Guarding Your Heart

The means to “fixing your gaze” and “putting away crooked speech” (4:24) and “pondering the path of your feet” (4:26) is found in Proverbs 4:23.  “Keep your heart with vigilance for from it flow the springs of life.”  If my heart is not kept then it will be distracted.  I will begin chasing after the wind.  My writing will be for personal gain instead of for the majesty of Christ being proclaimed.  Therefore, I must consistently guard my heart.  If my heart can be distracted then my blogging will be distracted. 

Again I find Charles Bridges instructive:

The man of God must only have one standard…He must often put aside the Church, no less than the world, that he may listen more closely to the command—Walk before me.  He must discern and crush the first motions of corruption; guarding every avenue of sin—the senses—the memory—the imagination—the touch—the taste.  He must walk by the straight rule of the Gospel; else will he not only bring discomfort upon himself, but stumbling to the Church.  A single eye, steadily fixed upon the One Object, will make the path luminous.  (From Commentary on Proverbs, 55)

It is vital that we blog with a fixed eye and a guarded heart. 

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