But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. (John 12:4-6)
In April, I attended a workshop for missionaries called Sharpening Your Interpersonal Skills. The workshop was quite challenging--and the fellowship together with missionaries from other agencies was very sweet.
Several times during the week long workshop individuals spurred me on to strengthen my gift of writing (even though these persons didn't know that I enjoyed writing). One veteran pastor even prayed over me that God would use my gifts of writing, communication and teaching (academically) to advance Christ's Kingdom overseas. I hadn't done or said anything to prompt these prayers, but I took them as affirmation and decided to reinvest myself in writing.
Prior to the workshop my frequency of writing had almost dried up--from January to March I had only written three articles for my blog. Afterwards I started blogging again with vigor and purpose--writing seven posts in April! However, even though the quantity of my writing increased, it was not done with prayer or discernment and the quality suffered.
These past couple of days I have been convicted about the content of several of my recent blog posts and the spirit they were written in.
These posts, while making valid points were written in a critical manner--I argued that some churches and Christian individuals were negligent in their stewardship of their resources, particularly in the area of short-term ministry. The underlying message of these posts had a less than subtle manipulative character--I wanted those reading to agree with me and support long-term missions instead, and by corollary support me and my work among the Japanese.
I realized how the undercurrent of my motivation was being communicated through my writing--and their spirit wasn't healthy or glorifying to God. In fact, it was sinful--my own selfishness was coloring the content of the posts.
Do I still think that some short term ministry can be wasteful, yes; am I still called to go to Japan as a long term missionary, the answer is yes. However, I want to make a commitment to myself and the readers of this blog that it will be used in a way that glorifies God.
My motivation for writing needs to be Gospel centered, with the purpose of encouraging and building up His body, the Church. Therefore, I will take more time to pray about what I am posting online, and pursue topics of a more devotional character.
My desire is that my writing is used to minister to others and help them to love Jesus more, rather than manipulating them. I hope that my future blog posts will be encouraging to you.