I had a number of favorite blogs that I started reading back in the beginning of my early blogging days. It was a short list that soon expanded. I added to or deleted from that list based on my time, and the overall effect those blogs were having on my life. But I never stopped reading a blog because it made me so angry and hurt that I couldn’t go there anymore. It was a great blog about natural living with articles on homemade cleaners, gardening and other topics I was interested in. When it came to issues like vaccination, circumcision or the morality of food, I was happy to hear everyone’s perspectives, even if I disagreed at times. But recently there was a post that really got under my skin. It was basically a “we are right, and we have God on our side, so you are wrong.” (I will resist the urge to name the blog, post title or even the topic because that isn’t really the issue here. Also, because I don’t want to defame an otherwise mostly good blog).
I made me cry, because this woman (and by association many of the women in the comments) were accusing me terrible things based on choices I made with long and prayerful consideration in concert with my husband and the spiritual authorities in my life that I respected. I realize that there are moral absolutes in certain areas of life, but I didn’t really think this was one of them. But it was presented to me as a cut, dried done kind of moment. So I called my husband and cried. Then I ranted on facebook among friends. Then I unsubscribed.
This was harder for me than it sounds. I had become part of a community. I trusted the judgment of many of these women and appreciated their insights. But this post didn’t help me, it hurt me, and not in a way that would cause me to me live my life better, but in a way that made me want to shrivel up and die inside. It was the last straw in a series of issues I’ve been dealing with regarding the choices I make and have made in my life that made me want to stop trying. Why bother trying so hard to be a good mom, raise a healthy family, be wise with my finances, seek God’s will in all things and pursue becoming more like Jesus if even when I make what I think are the right choices I will shortly be reminded that I was in fact, not just mistaken, but morally wrong?
So I pulled the plug. Not because the blog challenged me to be a better person. Not because it didn’t have quality content that was applicable to my life. But because it told me that all of my efforts were in vain because my attempts at Godly living completely misplaced. Mind you, I totally recognize that all of our attempts fall short, that is what grace is for. But this was not grace, or speaking the truth in love, but rather the holding up of one person’s opinion on an issue that is debatable but hardly resolvable. It is the kind of issue that I would normally leave up to someone’s conscience, but this blogger felt was better listed as an absolute.
The one positive I can say, is that I came away from this experience with a better sense of why we need to extend grace and a desire to be more understanding towards those whose opinions differ from mine. Between absolutes in life there is a lot of gray area, and trying to make those gray areas black or white sometimes only serves to divide us further than we need to be. Maybe some gray is good because it helps us to think, and forces us to be sure of how we feel in certain areas. Or in some cases, be comfortable with the ambiguity and have to trust God.