I think I’ve journaled in one way or another since junior high. It’s a good thing. I forget so much these days that it’s good to know I have a written record of my life so that I can remember that I’m as much a goob now as I was when I was 14.

I remember a particular youth group retreat with my church in which the speaker urged us to practice spiritual disciplines, including prayer, Bible study, journaling, meditation, scripture memory, and giving. For some reason, I took him seriously and as a result, I have boxes of journals and notebooks.

When I began blogging in 2005, I saw it first as a novelty and a way to perhaps communicate in a creative way with folks who know me. I never dreamed I would encounter so much personal growth from the discipline of regular writing.

Growth has come in several ways:

  • Wisdom to write strategically (believe it or not, most of my posts are well-considered before I post them).
  • Discipline and discernment to think before I type when I respond to commenters who are “ornery.” 😉
  • Grace to admit an erroneous opinion or flawed observation when it’s pointed out to me.
  • Perspective to realize that I don’t need to be offended too deeply or be too bothered by stuff going on in the blog world.
  • Patience to write about sensitive issues only after I’ve spent a lot of time considering pros and cons, attempting to see all angles before voicing a strong opinion.
  • My research skills have greatly improved. I know better what sources to turn to that are dependable and which are not.
  • Insight… it’s amazing how much I learn about myself and those who comment on particular blog entries.

I think there’s a lot to be said for consistent, disciplined writing – whether on a blog or in a journal (I do both). The sheer effort and willpower that it requires to record your thoughts in a cohesive way is a great mental exercise.

On this day...

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Jeff Noble

Jeff is the pastor of Northstar Church in Blacksburg, Virginia. He grew up in Arkansas, loves fantasy football and is an Apple fan boy. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram @journeyguy.
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