People want what they want and not what they don’t.
This becomes apparent when you’re a writer. Social media makes instant gratification or dissatisfaction clearly and quickly known.
Sharing the message of your heart requires vulnerability. You risk painful reactions when people disapprove. But if your message is received well, you risk facing pride-fueled idolization.
When You’re On A Pedestal
Isn’t that true of many of us? We’re prone to put others on a pedestal of importance. What they do and think receives our praise–until it doesn’t. Then the pedestal tips, and we let them fall.
As Christian Communicators, we have to deal with our insecurities and anxieties. Readers will push those buttons. They’ll push ‘em soft, hard, and frantically crazy, like twin five-year-olds in a 40-floor elevator.
We also have to deal with our tendency toward pride. Others may elevate us. Eventually, we will not meet their expectations, and then we’re the ones who fall off that pedestal. Or, we may elevate others and believe we’re not allowed level-ground in their space.
To handle these insecurities and tendencies toward pride, we have to know, or grow to know, what our vision and mission is.
In the deepest places of our souls, God will challenge us to “know that we know that we know,” that God has the final say on who we are and where we should go. Otherwise, we’ll get sidetracked and live stuck trying to please others.
Let’s rise up where He’s called us to go and let Him lead the show. K?
Readers Are Fickle, You Can Be Faithful
Readers may love what you put out one day, and hate it the next. They may want to hear what you have to say, seem super excited about the content you share, and seem super grateful for the work you do. Until…
You say or do something that touches them in a sensitive spot where wounds reside. Or an area of the heart they don’t want to deal with. Some readers may receive your words as a personal attack if they don’t line up with the worldview they believe is immovable.
Then you become target practice for soul-splitting arrows. Defense, blame, and accusation come quick when you set off emotional triggers.
Even small rejections hurt the tender communicator’s heart.
Not everyone will like what you have to say, and those who do won’t like it all the time. Readers come and go. You will stay if you remain faithful to God’s call on your life. You’ll gain perseverance as a Christian communicator when you continue to hone your message and serve well, no matter what.
When You Know Your Why, You Won’t Be Swayed by Opinions
I received feedback from someone who requested to join the Rise Up Writers community on Facebook. In our approval process, we ask what email they used to sign up on our site. This group is an exclusive benefit for subscribers. This person was offended and found it manipulative to require an email address. My initial reaction was fueled by hurt, anger, and thoughts of, “How dare she…” Not pretty, I know.
When I breathe, pause, and step back, I’m able to see a bigger picture.
This person doesn’t know our reasoen for requiring an email address. She is free to think her own thoughts and make her own choices, just like we do. Deciding to require an email address occurred over a period of time. I wrestled back and forth with questions and answers while considering how best to serve writers.
In the end, I (Jolene Underwood) decided to require an email address for a few reasons.
- I want the Facebook group to be beneficial for those who really want to be included.
- Those who benefit from what Rise Up Writers offers, want to be part of the community and content we offer. Those interested in being in one more group aren’t likely to be interested in the community function of our group. They are less likely to engage in a community-focused way, which means we end up with a larger group that doesn’t serve its members well.
- Everything we offer isn’t visible in the group. When we offer a free event, we want to make sure members have an opportunity to accept or decline it, but they can’t if they don’t know about it. Email is still the best way to get the word out.
- Our newsletter focuses on the heart of the Rise Up Writer. It offers practical and spiritual care. If this isn’t of interest, that’s OK. But the community won’t be a good fit either.
- The leaders of Rise Up Writers volunteer a lot of time and effort to serve the community. We want to serve you well through social media, the blog, and our newsletter. The content is worth it.
Develop Courage and Humility
Friends, writers, and Christian Communicators, no matter what you do, you’re not going to please everyone. It’s OK. Actually, it’s more than OK. If you’re trying to please everyone, your message and witness will be watered down and ineffective.
As Rise Up Writers, God has work to do in us so His work can be done through us.
We need God’s help to grow our courageous souls. This goes for Christians who serve in any capacity. Standing against the enemy’s attempt to deceive, distract, and destroy isn’t easy. We cannot do it on our own strength.
Even when we do it with Him, we’re going to feel hard feelings and that’s OK. We are a work in process and we need more of Him all the time.
Remember, people are people. Just like you and me. We all deal with hard stuff and we all have the same God to cling to. Each of us reflects Christ in a unique way. Sometimes we distort that reflection with the broken filter applied to the image of our lives.
But you reflect courage when you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Humility is revealed when you seek ways to serve well. You are pliable to course correction when you know there’s always room to grow, especially when others oppose you.
Designed to Worship
We are stubborn people in need of surrender. Not to any person’s way. But to God’s way. In that surrender comes the reminder that no one is God. Not any communicator or leader and not those who read, follow, or support them.
This means two things. First, we must not put others on a pedestal where only God belongs. Similarly, we must remember that when others put us on a pedestal, they’re putting us in a place that only belongs to God.
Writers and speakers who write for approval, fame, glory, and kudos will crumble internally. They may come across as humble or boastful. It’s not easy to tell if false humility is at play because people-pleasing, fear, and pride aren’t always obvious.
We have to ask God to reveal it in ourselves, regardless of what we might see in others. Start there.
Pride and false humility can hide for years. We don’t realize we’re trying to be someone else because it’s too scary to be who we are. Our souls cannot escape the messy split inside that happens when we try to be someone we weren’t designed to be.
We’re designed to worship. We’re designed to need an object of worship. All too often we turn our worship inward, toward others, or our circumstances before we worship God.
The Work Begins in Us
If we put someone on a pedestal, we can’t be shocked when they fall off.
If someone puts you on a pedestal, we’re just as prone to falling off or being knocked off. You’ll have a good deal of heart and soul work to do. You want to stay humble and remain in the position of serving. Not the kind of work that makes you better than others, but the kind that reminds you how much you need Jesus. It is not an easy, glorious path, by any means.
We do it anyway, for the glory that goes to God and not ourselves. At least, I hope we do.