Dear Blogger Who Thinks She Needs Thicker Skin,
I see you there pouring yourself out day-in and day-out for an audience with no face. An audience who is merely a picture beside a comment or a name attached to an email. Perhaps you’ve met a few of your readers and you’ve been encouraged in your ministry of writing, but mostly you have no idea the effect your words are having until you write a post that doesn’t sit well with someone.
I see you.
I also see you as you log into your computer after a long morning of breakfast making and toilet cleaning. I see you plop into your chair thinking of that moment when you should have presented the gospel to your child instead of another lecture. I see you opening the comments tab on your site while thinking about what you’re going to make for dinner. I see you as your heart stops and your jaw draws and the tears well up in your eyes.
I see you.
Sometimes people forget that there are real people behind the seemingly robotic words on a computer screen. They forget that not all articles on the web are written by some anonymous writer or journalist at a big shot paper. People forget that the person who wrote the article is the very one who also checks the comments or reads the emails. People forget that we’re people too, and we’re people with feelings and emotions and hearts that break. Or perhaps they don’t forget. They just don’t know.
Dear Blogger Who Thinks She Needs Thicker Skin, I see you there, and I want to tell you this.
Your skin is not too thin. We aren’t meant to have “thick skin.” We are meant however, to have skin that’s devoted to an audience of One. It’s hard to write for Him in a world hungry for approval. I know, I’m a writer too.
You can take your hurts to Him. God’s heart is broken over sin. His heart breaks to see the words of others used to demean, belittle, and shame. He’s not a fan of it either. He’s more than not a fan, He hates it. Our Holy and Righteous God hates sin.
Fellow Blogger, God understands your hurts. He sympathizes with your tears, and He will not leave you to respond to those who do not understand on your own or in your own strength. You have an advocate with the Father, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear Blogger Who Thinks She Needs Thicker Skin, you are loved! Loved so much that someone, THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE, died for you. He lived for you too! This is enough. Jesus is enough. Your worth and approval is not found in the words of another. You have an audience of One.
Let the criticism change you, mold you, and rally you on toward a greater holiness. Don’t waste the criticism because it stings. Repent of where pride invades. Repent of your own unholy thoughts and bitterness in response. Sift through the pain, let it sharpen your witness and your writing. Let it bring the accountability we all so desperately need. This too shall pass, but don’t rush past this moment too quickly. Don’t be afraid to fail forward. Don’t be so quick to defend yourself.
Weep for your readers who don’t know Him. Weep for the broken, the lost, and the wounded. Weep for the ones who lash out, who forget, who’ve lost their compassion and willingness to share the truth in love. But don’t weep without hope and without telling yourself that you already have a seat at the table with Christ. Don’t make this about you. You become less so that He can become more.
Cry, my friend, cry. It hurts when someone is just plain mean. I would cry too. I’ve cried my fair share. Just remember the truth too. But don’t let it be your identity.
Scripture to turn to when you think you need thicker skin:
- Philippians 4:1-9 (there’s a disagreement being addressed)
- Hebrews 12:12-17 (if you have time, read all of Hebrews 11 & 12 and take heart!)
- Psalm 64 (this talks about what God does to those who “whet their tongues like swords”)
- Luke 6:27-36 (if you have time, back up and read verse 26)