A few years ago, I had the unique experience of writing something that was so controversial that my blog stats, usually very modest, skyrocketed. I had the audacity to critique Beth Moore. Now, this is not a post about Beth Moore, so please don't be sidetracked.
The controversy lasted a while, but of course, as with everything on the internet, something else came along that was more controversial, and I, Mrs. Nobody that I am, was left alone. There were some random hate e-mails that continued to come in as recently as last winter, but it blew over.
In the midst of the kerfuffle, I responded diligently to emails and comments from the naysayers. I found it very exhausting. It consumed my thoughts as I tried to clarify, justify, or just avoid feeling like a teenage girl who was being bomabarded by the girls in the cafeteria, a la "Mean Girls." I was thankful when it was over.
Boudicca, I am not.
Controversy, and the battle within it, is time-consuming. A few years ago, when my husband blogged, he regularly was attacked by an atheist fellow, and it was amazing to me how much easier dealing with conflict was for him. The bottom line with managing regular, daily, controversy is that you won't do well if you care what people think of you. I struggle with that, and I don't do well with controversy. I'm not good at arguing because my emotions live too close to the surface.
The bloggers who do well with controversy are the ones who are thick-skinned, reasonable, and above all, gracious. Just check out Mary Kassian's comment box over at Girls Gone Wild. She's done a very good job of answering questions in the wake of her posts regarding complementarianism.
Regular, sustained controversy -- and I mean the blogs that exist for no other reason than to rock the boat --demand sustained energy to fight battles. I often look at the tweets and blog posts of those more controversial, and I wonder how they keep up with the controversy. Isn't it energy-sapping? If you have children, doesn't it make you cranky with them?
Controversy and its consequences forces me to be re-active instead of pro-active. It robs me of my energy for actually doing something because it makes it necessary for me to deflect darts instead of living my life. In the end, what would I rather be known for, creating a controversy or just loving the Lord, my family, and daily working out my salvation with fear and trembling?
That's a rhetorical question, by the way.
Controversy in the middle of questions that are hard and important is inevitable. For those whose only method of garnering attention is to generate it, you amaze me with your energy. Frankly, when my husband gets home at the end of the day, or one of my kids calls, I want to have something to give them. Controversy for controversy's sake seems like something that just eats at you and turns you sour in the end. But, what do I know, I'm just a nobody.
There is plenty of fodder for controversy today. Take a break from it all, or resist the urge to participate. Use part of this day for something productive. Go outside, look up at the clouds, at the sky, and later tonight at the stars. If it's too hot where you live, stay inside and watch a funny old movie or read a good book. Pet a dog, cuddle a cat, hug your kids. Do anything else other than fuel the fire or give an audience to someone who should probably just stop talking for a minute.
It will all be there tomorrow.