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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Why I deleted my google analytics account

They're everything, right?
They are supposed to mean something.
They are supposed to assess fame, popularity, value, worth, status.

I  recently watched a webinar that was all about blogging. It was all about your numbers...your readers, your followers, your ratings.
It was actually a really great webinar and I enjoyed watching it and felt like I learned a lot from it.
I admit that I am a watcher-of-numbers.
I post a picture to my business page and then I go back and watch to see how many people viewed it, how many people liked it, how many people commented and how many people shared it.

Then I blog. I then go back and check to see how many people plus 1'd it on google plus.
I check to see if anyone on Facebook liked it and then I check to see if anyone commented.
I actually have found myself starting to be sure I'm using certain key words over an over in each post to maximize my seo. I also want to make sure that I link certain words to this blog post, that blog post,  this website and that website.

If you think it starts or stops on the world wide web however, you are mistaken.
It happens in conversations when you meet someone new.
Oh...how many people attend your church? How may kids came in to The Porch today? How many kids do you have? How many years have you been homeschooling? How many pounds do you weigh?
Ok. We don't actually ask that last one, but you know very well that many of us are thinking it!
(come on now!)

We have been going through the Old Testament in Faith Bible Institute.
Recently, we were in 1 Chronicles 21.
You may remember the story.
The Bible says that King David asked his commander to go and count the people and bring him the report so "that I may know their number".
I find this interesting, mostly because just before that verse it says that satan stood against Israel and enticed David to number the people.
It was satan's idea. Never a good choice to go with, by the way.
Now - I am not trying to take a passage out of the Bible and use it out of context to go along with whatever principle I want to back up.
I'm not saying that anytime someone numbers something, they are saaaintan.
But I do think that there is a great principle here.
David wanted to know the number just so that he could know the number!
Why would he want to do that?
Maybe because it would make him feel big time that he was ruler over so many people?
Maybe because he wanted bragging rights? I don't exactly know.
But I do know that it was satan's idea, and I do know that it did not make God happy. At all.
You can read the rest of the story yourself here.

So it got me thinking.
Whose approval am I living for?
And not whose approval do I say, and sing and write really pretty that I am living for.
I mean for reals.
Whose approval am I living for?

If I wrote a blog post that no one liked, commented on, or even read.
Would it matter? What's my point in the first place?
If I posted a picture that no one liked or shared. Would it matter?

What about other things I'm doing?
Today at The Porch we offered a cooking class. We had advertised it and had 7 kids sign up.
Then one girl came.
And at first, I was so disappointed. I was frustrated. I was sad, really.
And then it totally hit me.
What about that one girl? She is here. In my kitchen, and I am showing her that I care about her life. Because I totally do.
Does the number matter?

What about my church?
What about my business?
What about every single part of my life.

Here is the slap-you-in-the-face kind of Bible verse that I needed today:

Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life.

Do you get this?!
Watch yourself. Keep yourself in check. Why?
Because if you don't? You start forgetting the things that your eyes have seen God do for you.
You get so focused on what is going on with every. other. person.
And you miss the one person that God is actually telling you to watch!

Does it matter that I impacted one person?
Of course it does.
Does it look all impressive and somehow give me validation as a Christian, as a person or as a writer?
Absolutely not. Why should it have to?
If I said that I have 3 million blog followers, would I be able to get a speaking engagement like I hope I can do someday?
Quite possibly. I mean, I'd have value, I'd have fame and people would want to book me.

If I said that I had one girl text me and say how thankful she was for my blog.
Would I then be able to get a speaking engagement?
Probably not.

Why the difference?
Because we're numbers kind of people. We look at the number of letters after a name, the number of years in a college, the number of books written and the number of dollars in a bank account.

So I made a decision today.
I deleted my goggly analytics account.  
Ya know, the one thing that helps me track how many people are reading my blog.
Because ya know what?
I can't care anymore.
I just can't.
And I knew God was telling me to do it, so I literally did it the second He told me.
Because I knew that if I waited, I would justify the living daylights out of it and end up keeping it.

Numbers actually kind of hurt.
They kind of make me feel like less of a person.
And it ain't true...
And ain't nobody got time for that!

And so, you know how many people are gonna care about this blog post?
Ya. Me either.
And I don't care.
I don't want you forming your opinion of me based on any of my numbers.
My numbers mean absolutely nothing.

I knew I always hated math for a reason...math is not from God, people.
Math is not from God. ha! (sorry to my math-minded family!)

So for a challenge. Is there any numbering going on in your life that you need to put a stop to?
Take heed to yourself.
Don't let yourself get caught up in the numbers game.
It's a game that no one wins in.

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