Christ and Social Media

Monday, October 17, 2016

What You Share Says a Lot

For the developed world, social media is an indispensable medium that saturates our daily lives.  We use social media to communicate with family and friends, network with industry colleagues, engage in discourse, educate ourselves, and even do our jobs.  Like any other form of communication, how we engage says a lot about who we are.  So what responsibilities do we have towards Christ as Christians when it comes to using social media?

What Social Media Is

Social media for most people is a powerful platform for communication.  It connects us through videos, photos, posts, texts, and messages to diverse communities of people all over the world.  It's mass communication from the comfort of your keyboard.  But at its heart, social media is speech.  It's more than just a spoken word; it's a premeditated, digitally etched in stone, permanent record of your heart.  It's the persistent echo of your inner voice.

A Christian Point of View

For a Christian, that should set off alarm bells when it comes to considering our responsibilities for using social media.  Social media should be used in a way that brings honor and glory to the name of God.  At the very least, a Christian's actions through social media should not be used in any way that would bring shame to His name or denigrate Christianity at large.  Think that is a little extreme?

Consider the words of Jesus;

(NASB) Matthew 15:18-19
"18 But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. 20 These are the things which defile the man;"

From the standpoint of your heart, your social media speech is no different than the words you give form with your tongue.  As Christians, we would be wise to reflect on this point.  As a Christian, have you ever authored, shared, liked, pinned, tweeted, or retweeted something with course language?  How about something that contains blasphemy?  Anything that promotes idolatry?  Anything that slanders? Anything that would cause someone to lust or fall into sin?  Anything that promotes ungodliness?  And finally, are these things that form the pattern of your social media activities?

I'm sure we all miss the mark on this from time to time.  But there is a difference between falling into sin, and pursuing sin as a pattern in your life.  If you reflect on your own postings and shares, what do your activities say about your heart?  Does your social media activity honor God or does it give hearty approval to the world?  If you discover you follow the latter, you may need to sincerely ask yourself if you're really a Christian.  OUCH!  If you don't like that statement, read the books of 1 John and James.

It's a Sin Problem

Yep, it's a sin problem.  But fortunately, there is a way to make it right and establish peace with God.  These are sins that Christ bled and died for.  Repent from these actions and believe in the risen Jesus for your salvation.  Ask Christ for forgiveness and mercy, and trust in the promise of His grace and a new life in Him.

So Ask Yourself

How can I keep myself from making a shipwreck of my faith when using social media?  Consider the following:
  1. Are you hesitating to post or share something because you aren't sure whether it would offend God or God's people?  If the answer is YES, DON'T POST OR SHARE.
  2. Would you be willing to post or share something directly with Christ verbatim? If the answer is NO, DON'T POST OR SHARE.
  3. Does the post in question contain course language?  If the answer is YES, DON'T POST OR SHARE.
  4. Does the post in question blaspheme the name of God?  If the answer is YES, DON'T POST OR SHARE.
  5. Does the post in question establish the worship of anyone or anything other than God?  If the answer is YES, DON'T POST OR SHARE.
  6. Does the post in question celebrate worldly behavior?  If the answer is YES, DON'T POST OR SHARE.
  7. Does the post in question give approval to worldly behavior?  If the answer is YES, DON'T POST OR SHARE.
  8. Could the post in question cause someone else to fall into sin?  If the answer is YES, DON'T POST OR SHARE.
The list could go on but you get the idea.  Use common Christian sense when engaging with social media and think before you post or share.  Ask yourself, how will this post affect others and their attitude towards God and His holiness?

Final Thoughts         

There is nothing wrong with using and enjoying social media and all it has to offer.  However, as Christians we need to be responsible and think about how our actions influence others and their thoughts and attitudes towards God.  If we can't do this, then we shouldn't call ourselves Christians.  

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