Who you are when no one’s looking

I’m kicking off this week with a little peek behind the curtain at NGYN. A little meta-blogging, or blogging about blogging. Because when I sat down to write this morning, I came to a realization to which you can probably relate: I don’t always do this for the right reasons.

When PJ and I started Neutral Gets You Nowhere last year, we had a clear mission: to record our own spiritual growth in written form and think (or write) through questions we faced as we studied the Bible and experienced God in our lives. In doing so in this format, we hoped to help others grow and find answers, too.

That all sounds pretty noble, but – and I’m speaking for just myself here, not PJ – I didn’t take into account from the beginning what a huge role my ego would play in this process.

That’s brings us to this morning, when I sat down to write. I fired up my browser, logged into WordPress, and, on my way to the “Add New Post” button, I glanced at our site’s statistics. Over the last few days, we’d had just a handful of visits. And for a minute, I thought to myself, “It’s not worth writing today. No one’s reading.” Apparently, this blog transformed for me from a noble pursuit to a vanity project.

This happens a lot. It’s a struggle that’s inherent to us worldly humans: if we enjoy or benefit from doing good, are we really doing good, or are we just making ourselves feel good? (This question’s so universal, in fact, I can even remember a Friends episode devoted to it.)

The real question I have to ask myself, then, is “Who am I when no one’s looking?” If I didn’t have this blog, would I wrestle with questions of right and wrong and seek to know God better? Would I spend time daily asking hard questions, examining my heart, and trying to move forward?

I’ll pose the same question to you: When you’re by yourself, do you act the same as when you’re with others?

Do you build people up when you’re with them, but judge them silently when you’re alone?

Even though you speak kindly and hold your tongue in public, is your inner voice characterized by anger and profanity?

Do you give of your time, money, and talents, but still idolize your own possessions and covet things you don’t have?

The Bible says that on the day of judgment, believers’ works will be examined by Christ himself, and that we’ll be rewarded only for things we built in this life on the right foundation, or with the right intentions.

…But we must each be careful how we build, because Christ is the only foundation. Whatever we build on that foundation will be tested by fire on the day of judgment. Then everyone will find out if we have used gold, silver, and precious stones, or wood, hay, and straw. We will be rewarded if our building is left standing. (1 Corinthians 3:10-14, Contemporary English Version)

Ultimately, only Christ and I will know whether my heart’s right, so I’m not going to bother making an argument here for or against my blogging. I am going to keep writing, though, and try hard to be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading, saying what it compels me to say and being silent when it tells me to.



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