2089649326_25dfa9fa9eIt’s been a few days since I posted and it’s really been a ‘cold turkey’ kind of scenario!! You see, I’m addicted to this blog at present. Really am. The fact shouldn’t surprise me – I am obsessive and faddish in the extreme. Things I have previously become obsessed with, to the detriment of my other pursuits, have included, at some time or another; downloading music, online chess, the Football365 chat forum, the computer game ‘Championship Manager’, watching The Sopranos on DVD, going to the gym (didn’t last long!), composing and recording music, uploading photos to facebook, writing a book about the British Empire, playing the computer game ‘Football Manager’ (in effect, the exact same game as ‘Championship Manager’ but under different ownership),  learning the drums, arguing with atheists, reading books by Haruki Murakami, watching The Wire on DVD, MSN Messenger, writing a book about travelling to Australia, eating chorizo, compiling ‘Best of’ playlists, playing online pool… the list could go on indefinitely.


However, in the case of the blog, there are issues. This I realised as I posted my Monday offering and then sat, watching the blog stats (rather than doing any work), feverishly pressing F5 to refresh the information. I did this for quite a long time. I felt elated when the number of hits went up by one. I felt distraught when it didn’t. What did I actually want during this painfully pathetic episode in my life? Did I want people to have read my post so they may be encouraged or given food for thought in their walk for Christ? Did I want people to have read my post so that my use of the previous three quarters of an hour would be in some way affirmed and justified?? Scarier, did I sit there craving human recognition, my famous competitive streak rudely shoving the godlier aspects of my personality aside???!


If so I do have a problem. I set out to do this so that I may be accountable to others in my Christian life, and so that others, predominantly among my church community, may be encouraged or challenged along the way. I did not do it so I could prove myself clever, or so I could self-seekingly attempt to grow an audience. The problem is WordPress is too good! It gives so much for the sinful nature to latch upon. With my old blog host I was shouting in the dark, with little idea of who, if anyone, was reading until they mentioned it at church. Here I can tell you, since last Tuesday when I launched, exactly how many hits I’ve had, and from whence they have come – be it readers, links, comments I’ve left on other sites or specific search engine terms. There are graphs and charts! For a stats geek like me it is almost too much to bear!


I write in flippant terms, but it is ABSOLUTELY a trap. I want to write when I have something to say, not in order to ‘keep the figures up’, to beat the previous week or to send myself up the search engine pecking order. Why? Because we are taught to seek the approval of God, not man. The world’s praise will only turn our head, inflate sinful pride and focus attention upon us rather than upon the Spirit that makes us useful. There is much biblical precedent here: For example, in Galatians 1:10 Paul asks ‘Do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men I would not be a servant of Christ’. In John 12 he speaks of Pharisees who ‘loved the praise of men more than the praise of God’. More practically, if it is recognition I seek then a stats slump will quickly dishearten me and stop me writing – to the possible detriment of one among those fickle stats (and it probably is only about that number!) who would actually benefit from my efforts…


So, this much I vow in conclusion:

a)      I will only post when I genuinely have something I consider useful to say – not for fear of losing stats if I don’t!

b)      I will retain an honest approach, even when, as in this post, it makes me look stupid. That should keep my pride in check! This is a lot harder to do now that much of my traffic is from strangers!

c)      I will continue to post when barely anyone is reading!

d)      I will pray that this little blog be for God’s service and repent for anything outside of that.

e)      I will stop including the question ‘have you read my blog?’ in every single church conversation.

f)        Any time I take myself too seriously, I will remember that my most popular post is ‘Sex on the Brain’, purely because people searched for the word ‘Sex’ on WordPress. I am sure that every one of these fled in horror without reading more than a sentence. Stats can be highly misleading, after all…



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