Long story short, I wrote a guest post for an online magazine a few weeks ago and a woman (I think to be mid-40s) commented that my article was “level 1.” While I’m still a little salty that someone from the older generation would be so discouraging to a younger believer, that’s not what this will be about. I could write a book about how it hurt me as a young Christian writer, but I won’t. Starting now.
I just want to focus on one part of her statement. “This article is a level 1.” Well I respectfully disagree with that statement because so many people told me they were touched by what I wrote, and I’m still in awe of the kind words that were said to me. Anyway, I’m mostly wondering why level 1 is such a bad thing in the first place.
Christianity does not always need to be complicated. There are biblical scholars and theologians that are critically important to our full understanding of God and the Bible. But there are also normal people like me trying to figure out how this grace thing works (cue that Mumford & Sons song).
I love a good article that digs deep into word meaning, looking at the original Greek of the Bible, etc. I love a good article deciphering Jesus’ parables piece by piece. I like historical Bibles that validate a lot of what it says. I like specific statistics about particular issues and hearing about experiences in great detail. But I also appreciate the simple.
Jesus loves you. Simple.
You’re worthy of this love. Simple.
You may feel shame in sin, but the gospel rescues you from that. Simple.
Simple, but powerful. There is nothing level one about God and his gospel. The gospel is immeasurable. The gospel is everything. The gospel is life.
I’m not a biblical scholar. I don’t know everything there is to know about the Bible and I’m not the right person to write on specific details and historical accuracy and scientific facts, etc. I’m sorry I can’t offer that, but there are great writers who can.
I am, however, a person changed by the grace of God and somehow I can create flows of words that reach the hearts of many. That isn’t meant to sound arrogant; I’ve just discovered what I’m good at and others generally seem to like it. I like to write about the foundations of Christianity- the love and sacrifice of Christ and how that affects us today.
Maybe tackling heart issues and emotion is level one to some. But to others it is life changing.
All viewpoints of the Christian faith are valid and important- yes, even those who disagree with us. It’s important to listen to one another and learn. It’s important to use kind words rather than empty insults that offer no substance. Because, while I’m glad you have an opinion and it’s okay to disagree, I think each party could benefit from hearing each other out and offering constructive criticism rather than asserting their opinion as fact.
So it’s fine to disagree and it’s fine for a piece to not touch you like you had hoped. It hurts my feelings a little, but that’s natural. I take things to heart no matter how insignificant it may seem. Maybe that’s a flaw of mine.
I think that the comment bothered me so much because I expect the older generations of believers to offer wisdom and encouragement- not insulting words.
Young believers are thirsting for the gospel. We crave community and authenticity. We thrive on grace and forgiveness. These are the things I write about. These are the people I want to reach- because I am one. It’s never a level one thing and I would never write a post just for the sake of writing.
I want to write with the intention of pointing people to Jesus, and I sincerely hope that is happening. I may be young. I may have let a woman twenty years older than me ruin my day with one comment. But I get the gospel. And the gospel might be level one, but it’s still the gospel. And that’s something everyone should hear.