Like it or not, social media is here to stay. It’s the way people connect. We have Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat and so many other ways that people use to share their pictures, their personal stories, feelings or beliefs. I originally joined Facebook several years ago so I could reconnect with past friends and long distance family members. I really enjoyed catching up and seeing what they are doing now. It reminded me of an online reunion. Social media can be used for good such as this, but unfortunately, you see the bad side as well. Social media can be filled with gossip, bullying, and complaining as well. How we act as Christians should not only be seen in how we act among the world, but on social media as well.
It’s very important to understand the impact our status updates, photos, comments, or blog posts may have on those who see it. I saw a quote by AW Tozer, that said, “A whole new generation of Christians has come up believing that it is possible to “accept” Christ without forsaking the world.” I find this so true today. God’s Word reminds us in John 2:15-17 (NKJV) “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” We need to remember this in our daily walk especially when we are on social media. So what can we do to make sure we are walking in the light on social media?
1. Remember who is watching you on social media. The words we say to one another and to others are on display for the world to see. The pictures or video’s we share or “like” are being seen by your followers. You may think that no one will see this or that or it doesn’t matter, but trust me someone will and it does. Use it for good, because again, people are watching.
2. Where is the main source of the posts you forward? Have you ever seen a great post, quote or picture and you want to share it, then realize the main source has profanity in the name. Do you still share it? Some do without thinking twice or some may share by accident. It is so important to look before you share. I have gasped at things members of the Lord’s church have shared. My first thought is that maybe they didn’t see it, but how do I know that? No one really knows for sure why they shared it, so why create that doubt in the minds of those who view what you share? “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).
3. Social media also has a dark side. A very dark side. You see airing of dirty laundry, people bad-mouthing their children or family, and the list goes on and on. Also, we have all seen Christians get into arguments, full of hatred and ugliness splashed all over social media for all to see. I have learned that people on social media like to debate. I have seen some claws come out, inappropriate words said, and just blatant ugliness. My advice is to not engage in those controversial topics and if you are getting angry and irritated, STOP. You probably are not going to change that persons mind and you wind up losing your Christian influence in the midst of it all. “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalms 19:14). Let our desire be to win hearts rather than to win arguments.
4. Communicate humbly and graciously. Before hitting post or send, reread what you wrote from the other person’s perspective to see if genuine humility comes across. It is important we avoid coming across like an arrogant know it all. This means watching the gossip we may participate in as well. What we post should be seasoned with salt. Remember, “God resists the proud but gives grace unto the humble” (I Peter 5:5).
It is wonderful to see positive witnesses for Christ on social media. It can be tempting to go the negative route since negativity draws more attention, but social media is an incredible opportunity to demonstrate the love for Christ. If you think about it, there is not one thing that social media can offer that’s worth your Christian influence. I am talking about sports, politics, gossip, raunchy photos, and the media just to name a few. Remember, if in doubt don’t share it or “like it.”