R.J. Anderson (rj_anderson) wrote,
R.J. Anderson
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Biblical Neepery

sarah_prineas wrote a fun post today about neepery -- that is, when somebody is so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about a particular subject that they talk about it frequently, often in such a way that other people find it interesting to listen even if they don't share that particular enthusiasm or hobby. She asked commenters to share their personal neeperies and their favorite examples of neepery in others -- it's a neat discussion, worth checking out.

It got me thinking, though -- what am I neepish about, besides fiction and writing? And the first thing that came to mind was the Bible.

To some of you this will come as no surprise, but for the rest of you -- I'm the daughter of a full-time lay preacher; I grew up hearing the Bible read and taught on a daily basis; I've now spent more than twenty-five years studying it for myself. When I was in my late teens and early twenties I used to spend three or four hours a day, sometimes more, talking to people online about the Bible. And even more recently, you can look back in my blog archives from 2002 on and find a fair number of posts about the Bible and Christianity.

But lately? Not so much. And sarah_prineas's post got me thinking about why that is.

There's a passage in Matthew's gospel where Christ says that just as a tree is recognized by the kind of fruit it bears, so "out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks."

In other words, if something is dear to your heart, if it's constantly on your mind, then that's what you're going to talk about. And if you want to know what is on a person's heart and in their mind, all you have to do is listen to what they say.

So what's been on my mind and in my heart? Writing. Editing. Revising. Book promotion. Trying to make this strange lifelong hobby of mine into a career. None of which is wrong -- but it's not the only thing that I care about, or want to talk about. It's not even the most important thing. The only reason I've been neeping about it is because it's safe. It's popular. It isn't demanding, it's seldom controversial, and it's the sort of thing that writers are supposed to talk about, that plays well with potential book buyers.

Whereas if I neep about the Bible, I run the risk of people disagreeing with me. Arguing. Demanding explanations and defenses that I don't feel like giving*. Or even -- oh horror -- people might decide I am some kind of fundamentalist nutcase who probably writes tiresome preachy stories, and decide not to buy my books.

So my reasons for not talking about the Bible very much boil down to a) laziness, b) cowardice and c) selfishness.

Put like that it seems rather obvious what the right choice is, doesn't it?

So from now on I think I'm going to talk more often about my interest in the Bible. In a fairly simple way, just mentioning what verses or passages have been on my mind and what I've been thinking about them. And I'm going to use cut-tags, so people can skip those posts if they want -- but Biblical neepery is a big part of who I am, so it's only natural that it should be part of my journal as well.

--
* I was going to write "don't have time or energy to give," but the truth is we tend to find time and energy for the things that are really important to us no matter how busy we are, so that's really not an honest excuse.
Tags: bible, linkage
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