An Online Hiatus

hiatusNot being online as much is going to be hard for a while, but I believe it is important to my own spiritual health. I am taking an indefinite hiatus from most online activity in order to focus on improving my relationship with the Lord. It’s been a tough decision, but one that wise counselors have encouraged me to make. It will, I believe, help me to renew and reorient my own spiritual life, as well as help me to serve my church better.

The goal is to see my focus reoriented. I have felt for some time now that my own affections for and obedience to the Lord were growing weak. So, cutting out some of these areas that are important to me and that distract me from personal spiritual development is going to be necessary. This will include both writing (here at my blog and at other outlets), and social media

I love to write. Here at my blog I have written over 1500 posts. Most of them aren’t worth much, but each has helped me to sharpen my focus and think carefully through a theological, cultural, or practical issue. I value my writing because it helps me to be a better thinker – at least I think it does. But overtime my writing has also become a distraction. I can spend an immense amount of time on blogging daily, writing articles for other outlets, and most recently doing book reviews. A hiatus is in order to refocus my mind directly on the Lord.

Psalm 16:8 has been my motivating verse as of late. It states:

I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

The verse reminds me of two important things. First, it reminds me that I need to fix the eyes of my heart on the Lord. Something I have not been doing as of late and something that must change. The Lord needs to be “always before me.” Secondly, this passage reminds me that I don’t have to fear these changes. My idolatrous heart resists change. It wants to find ways to excuse my spiritual distractedness. The Psalmist, and the Lord through him, insists that it will be okay. I can survive these changes and adjust to a new routine, a new way of thinking things through, and any loss of platform that not writing causes. My first love needs to be the Lord, and if I commit myself to pursuing Him then “I shall not be shaken.”

I will also be taking a break from social media, which will be less difficult, but still a struggle. Expect to see no Twitter or Facebook activity for a while, or at least very minimal. The idea, again, is to root out distractions and refocus my heart and mind on the Lord. Social media affords me too many opportunities to focus on me. I believe that there is great virtue and value in social media, and that it can be used and pursued to great ends. I also recognize, however, that I am tempted to use it wrongly for the moment and need some time away to again align my heart more with the Lord’s.

Let me say thank you to all my regular readers, church family, and friends who have frequently supported my writing and various online activities. You are often so kind and encouraging and make many of my projects feel more productive and worthwhile. In the near future you can expect a few things from this blog: (1) 5 or 6 more book reviews that I have committed to writing for IVP, Crossway, Reformation Heritage, or New Growth Press. I will keep my word and post these reviews as I finish the respective books. (2) My weekly list of Good Reads. As an opportunity to promote good writing, to support my many friends who are still hard at work, and to encourage my readers to keep expanding their circles of interest and influence, I will be posting these every Friday or Saturday.

This is a decision that is going to be good for me in the long run, even if it will also be hard. I trust that many of you will pray for me as I take this season to reorient my life, heart, and mind. I also trust that in the long-run this change will allow me to return to more consistent writing and online activity. The Lord is good and gracious, and I am excited to see what He will do in my life.

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  1. […] of that counsel involved taking a break from most of my writing and from most social media. At first this was a significant challenge. I […]

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