Joel Gregory writes in his book Too Great a Temptation that W.A. Criswell used to say, "Don't ever look back son. No regrets. Ever." I personally think that Criswell's advice is pretty good stuff, but setting it aside for a day or so I thought I might reflect on a few regrets I have about blogging on this the 500th post of Grace and Truth To You.
(1). I regret . . . that my opinion of some people whom I've never met-- and those same peoples' opinion of me -- is entirely based upon what is written. As a result, the truest understanding of a person that comes through eye contact, sensing one's spirit and enjoying one's unique personality is missed. This causes me to wonder if friendships will never be developed with certain persons once we meet because of preconceived biases, on both sides, that may not be accurate.
(2). I regret . . . I did not learn sooner that there is no need to answer every silly slander or accusatory attack by people who don't like what I'm saying. Some seem to feel it necessary to attack me because they view me as 'a threat.' But if Jesus was silent before His accusers, maybe we His disciples ought to be silent as well when falsely accused.
(3). I regret . . . that my writing is not always as clear as I would like it to be. Sometimes my grammar, spelling, and thought processes suffer due to a my desires to meet a self-imposed deadline, a lack of proper proofreading, or simple stupidity on my part.
(4). I regret . . . any post that questioned anyone's motive. Only God knows the heart. I believe it is absolutely essential for me to post what I believe to be the facts but stay clear from assigning motives like the Old Testament saints stayed clear of leprosy.
(5). I regret . . . blogging if just one person ever despaired of participating in SBC ministry or missions because of reading my post. I truly wish to be positive about everything SBC -- even when I write of things that concern me.
(6). I regret . . . that I don't have a better sense of style and understanding of blogging technology to make my blog look better or function better.
(7). I regret . . . that I can't spend more time answering questions in the comment string, or responding to unique comments on my posts. There is a limit to my resource of time and I have chosen to spend most of my blogging time on the post and simply read the comments from some excellent commentors - and learn from them - but not necessarily dialogue with them.
(8). I regret . . . that sometimes when I am writing a post I represent an opposing viewpoint in absolute terms, or characterize people who believe certain things using statements that labels them or polarizes them. Though those who know me understand I accept everyone who disagrees with me, respect every viewpoint that is opposite of mine and cherish the freedom that Baptists have historically valued -- I sometimes write in such a way that I unintentionally cast a negative light on those who believe differently than I. I truly regret this fault of mine.
(9). I regret . . . that blogging was not available 30 years ago at the beginning of the conservative resurgence in the Southern Baptist Convention. I truly believe that had blogging been available then, some of those who were hurt, disenfranchised and falsely accused of major doctrinal or theological error could have shown through their writing that they were in reality theologically conservative.
(10). I regret . . . blogging when I should have been playing golf. :)