Jesus and social media. Have you ever seen those words in the same sentence? I haven’t, very rarely does anything I see on Facebook or twitter glorify Jesus in anyway. And it’s sad because apart from each other Jesus and Social Media are very powerful. Imagine if they joined forces, the audience that could be reached is absolutely incredible. Facebook has 500 million users!! Twitter has 974 million accounts, with Instagram at around 200 million. The things you post everyday, they have a lot of impact. They can either do a lot of damage or a lot of good. Listed below are some things that I think we should take into account while using social media as Christians.
1. Avoid Posting Your Opinion
Yeah, crazy right? Not post your opinion all over the internet, but so many people care what you think, right? There is something that my pastor has said several times that I love, he says: “I don’t have an opinion I have the Word of God”. it doesn’t matter what I think about this or that, because it’s not about me. If my words are not kind, encouraging or serve a greater purpose of leading others to Christ then I don’t need to post them. Believe it or not God does not need me to defend Him, He is God. He works everything for His purpose and nothing I post on the internet is going to change that. There was a time a few years ago during the Presidential elections that I got wrapped up in Politics on Twitter. Nobody cared what I thought, but that didn’t stop me from shouting it on the rooftops (or in 140 characters through my Iphone). But the truth of the matter is that how I feel about politics or leaders doesn’t change the fact that God puts people in charge. We may never understand why, but He does and we have to trust that He knows best. Daniel 2:21 says, “He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars”. So rather that posting your opinion, crude humor about our leaders or articles of other people’s negative opinion, how about we pray for a our leaders. Our prayers will do a whole lot more good than anything on Facebook or Twitter. This also goes for sharing controversial articles to get an opinion across without being the main culprit. I know how that works, using passive aggressive articles voicing exactly how you feel, knowing that a certain person (or persons) will see it. You are not fooling anyone we have all done it! I think we could all take a little advice from Philippians 4:8 , “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Go through that verse and change the word “thoughts” and “think” to “posts” and “post”, remind yourself of this every time you get a little fired up on the internet!
“Guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge.” 1 Timothy 6:20
2. Do Not Leave Room For Assumptions
It’s so easy to assume what’s going on in a situation if all we see are bits and pieces. Believe it or not the more outspoken you are about Christ the more closely you are being watched. People are seeing your tagged photos not just the ones you post and the content that you “like” on the internet. If these do not line up with the constant Bible verses that you are posting then you may need to reevaluate your online testimony. Just be aware that people are looking up to you, and while we all make mistakes be aware that some mistakes can be avoided simply by using wisdom and making good decisions. If you would not want Jesus (or your grandmother) seeing it on Facebook then it is probably not a good idea anyways. Almost everything we do ends up on some sort of social media these days, so take caution in how you live your life and you won’t have anything to worry about. Use wisdom, and avoid confusing others about what it means to serve God. If you look a lot like every one else, then you are not pointing anyone to Christ. Be the same everywhere you go, and there will be little room for assumptions.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise” Ephesians 5:15
3. Religion vs. Relationship
The Bible is a great way to send subliminal messages! Totally kidding, but it is very tempting and is very easy to do. Someone posts about their wild night or the wild weekend they have planned and 10 seconds later you’ve got a Bible verse about the sin of drunkenness or “can’t wait to go to church on Sunday”. It’s so so so easy to caught up in the religion that “I’m better because I don’t do what you do”. Sin is sin, no sin is less or greater than any other sin. We are all on the same playing field without Jesus. I don’t follow Jesus because it’s the cool thing to do or because it makes me better than every one around me, I follow Jesus because I was dead and He gave me life. I was a sinner paying off a never ending bill based on how often I went to church, what I wore, who I knew, how often I read my Bible, Prayed, etc. And it wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t good enough to be a Christian if those were the prerequisites. That’s why I need Jesus, because He reached out His hand to me removed all the good works I was attempting to carry and said that He loved me right where I was but not enough to leave me there. So no I’m not better than anyone on this planet, I just simply chose to give up! I chose to give up on being a good person and chose to love a perfect person who has ultimately changed my life. I still have a long way to go, but I’m not longer weighed down by a list of rules, and there is a light at the end of this tunnel. That light belongs to Jesus! The greatest good you can ever do to someone is love them unconditionally. Condemnation never brought anyone to Jesus, it will only push them away. Our job is to love, His job is to convict. So whether you agree with someone or not, avoid posting subliminal messages and pray for that person. Jesus can change anyone do not stand between them trying to prove a point.
“He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5
4. Jesus Likes You More
In this day and age we can very easily get wrapped up in the internet perception of ourselves. For example, how many of you at some point in time have deleted something because it didn’t get enough “likes” worthy of your internet profile? Okay, now all of you put your hands up and quit lying! I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all done it. Social media is all about feeling good about yourself, and making your life appear way more exciting than it is most of the time. If we were all being honest we would admit that the internet shows very little of our life and more of just the highlights. You see the good, and almost none of the bad and the ugly. It’s all about who is following who and how many likes we get on our Instagram. Praise God for that 11th like, am I right? But serious if you find self worth in who is approving of your highlights, you are not going to find a lot of joy. Jesus likes you more than anyone else ever will and He sees the good, the bad and the ugly. He likes you despite all of it! His approval is the only approval that matters, so seek His above all else. There’s nothing wrong with being popular on the internet or posting your highlights, but when the responses to it affect how you feel about yourself it’s time to take a step back and look to Jesus for your worth.
5. Remember to Log Out
Okay last but not least, remember to log out. No this isn’t a safety or privacy precaution. It’s simply a reminder that life is better when you are actually living it. Social media can be addictive, I know because I struggle with it. But remember that there are people all around you who need someone like you in their life, there are needs that only you can meet, and there a memories for you to make, so do not forget to look up from your phone. God has given you an incredible life do not miss out on it! So remember to log out and leave the phone in the car sometimes. It takes away so much stress, when you just give yourself room to live!
I hope that this article can help you be a better Christian online, you have the ability to do amazing things do not waste it!
Lots of Love,