Follower of Christ

Social Media Wisdom for Christians

*This post was originally published in 2015 on my former blog. I personally needed the reminder.

Our social media culture has brought on an entirely new set of struggles and strife for Christians. Sadly, we look worse than the world most of the time, simply because of our social media interactions and reactions. We argue and fight with each other more than those who don’t know Christ. No wonder the world has no interest in our message. If Jesus has made no difference in how we live our lives then why would they have any need of Him? Follower of Christ, you can stand staunchly and even prove yourself right, but I’m afraid that looks far more like the Pharisees than Christ. When Jesus said to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, He meant social media too. We do not have the freedom to abandon our Christ-likeness on social media. The fruit of His spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control. When we get into social media soapboxes and rants and raves, we are loving ourselves more than Christ. And nothing about us is displaying His Spirit. I believe we have an incredible opportunity as Christians to display Christ to the world like never before through social media. But we are wasting it. Because we care more about being heard than proclaiming Christ. We act like victims and look for every way possible to get offended. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” No wonder they don’t know.  

God’s Word gives us wisdom, even for social media. Over the past few years, God has used the following verses to teach, convict and correct me when it comes to social media. I share out of love, not out of condemnation.

As much as it is up to me, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18)

Please. Stop fighting and arguing. If you take notice of Paul’s example, he was a master at engaging conversation and even speaking the truth without picking a fight. Facebook is no place to argue positions or to set each other straight. We spend so much time fighting each other. Do you realize that the lost can read your fight? And posting statuses? If you’re fighting with a friend, let’s just please stop the passive aggressive posting and learn some healthy conflict resolution skills. Further, if the world does something you don’t like, say make a red cup or pass a law, just pause before posting. Paul responded the way he did to those who opposed him because he was guided by the Holy Spirit. We would be wise to just pause and pray first. Ask God, would this be wise? Will this help or hurt the name of Christ? Do you realize that you have people who follow you whose only frame of reference of Christians is what you post. Their eternity matters so much more than my voice being heard. As for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we don’t have to fix them. If he or she posts something stupid let’s just stop trying to diffuse their stupid by creating our own. Pray for him or her. Out of love not self-righteousness.  Trust me, I know. It makes me cringe too when a Christian posts something that is just off the wall or mean. Or different than my opinion. I want to scream too. And I want to fix it because I don’t want those who don’t know Christ to think that is how all of us are. In reality though, if I do try to fix it, I honestly just make it worse. Maybe they don’t realize how it comes across. Maybe they had a moment of poor judgement. Maybe they have a perspective I need to consider. And yes they may be wrong. However. Let your life speak for itself. You are held accountable for you not them. God may lead you to graciously and lovingly send them a private message or have a face to face conversation to address it. And He may not. But public forum is not our place to resolve conflict with one another. In reality, it won’t fix the problem but create a bigger one. And others are watching. We are a witness to others of the love of Christ simply by how we interact with each other on media outlets.

Turn the other cheek. (Matthew 5:39)

Can I just say that if Jesus didn’t reply when falsely accused and walked to the cross, then I can keep my mouth shut. I can speak truth but do it in love. I can love my social media neighbor as myself. I do not have to get the last word. You do not have to prove your point. The way of Christ is to love others more than ourselves. That’s the truth of the gospel. While we were still sinners Christ died for us. Because He loved us more than himself. He chose death so that we could have life. Somehow we’ve abandoned that when it comes to social media. We love ourselves so much more. We would rather make our point than pray for the other person. We would rather be heard than to hear the other person. We look on “them” with contempt rather than compassion. We want to be right rather than to know they are right with God. We love ourselves more than we love our neighbors on social media. I’m not talking about wavering from the truth of God’s word. But nothing about our approach is like Christ. He saw people as sheep without a shepherd. Their posts and opinions show something deeper into their soul. If we would take our eyes off of ourselves and our hands off the keyboard, we might just see them as Christ does and be moved with compassion. God never separates truth and love. Why do we?

Whatever is true….think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)

Ladies, this is for us. Stop getting jealous. When you see “her” post that appears as though her life is perfect, think about what is true. Your life isn’t worse than hers. (Yes, that is a generality. I know there are always exceptions.) You don’t need to get franctic and try to fix your life to make it look like hers. Your husband may not have bought you that awesome thing that hers did for her, you may not have gone on her awesome vacation and you may not have made those adorable Pinterest gifts. Breath. It’s just ok. Does your husband faithfully provide for you? Does he show his love in the quiet mundane of life? Think about the truth and loveliness of that. When we dwell on “these things” it keeps our minds from places they don’t need to go. There was a time when I would post all of these family projects we would do. If I’m honest, I was probably posting out of insecurity I was dealing with and not even realizing it. I truly thought I was just sharing, not at all intending to brag. However, after a couple of other moms commenting on what a better mom I was than them ( I am so just not a better mom), I stopped with those posts. Because how I make her feel matters more than how I feel. And sweetie, your worth is so much more than the number of likes you get. Think about what is true-you are created and loved by God. That is the only opinion that matters. Stop dwelling on the approval of others. We have allowed social media to gauge the quality and value of our lives. Jesus has already determined that. Further, maybe we should use this verse as our rule of thumb when choosing whether or not to post something: Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell {post} on these things.

Do not think more highly of yourself than you ought. (Romans 12:3)

Do not be wise in your own opinion. (Proverbs 3:7; Isaiah 5:21)

Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus… (Philippians 2:5)

One of  the blessings and curses of social media is that everyone has a right to an opinion.  The problem is that we all think our opinions are right. I think we need to go back to third grade and learn the difference between fact and opinion. As Christians, we need to follow the example of Christ. If He didn’t think more highly of Himself when He had every right, then I absolutely do not have the right to think that everything I think is right. We are so arrogant. We act as if we have it all figured out. We think our thoughts and opinions must be heard. As Christians we have become victims in our mindset. We get so easily offended and call it injustice. Blogs are one of those things that I love and I hate. There can be so much to learn from others. And believe me, I need all the help I can get. What I notice, though, is that blogs have become our source of wisdom and information. We let the blogger do our thinking for us. Even the good ones. Don’t let some blogger be the voice of God in your life. Read it and examine it and pray about it. And if you’re the writer or poster, please remember that there is so much pride in thinking that what I think is right. Can I just pause right here and ask you to internalize that rather than think of “that other Christian” who needs to hear that? Christian, none of us have anything figured out. If we did, He wouldn’t be God. Humility is the greatest sign of maturity in a Christian. So let’s just get over ourselves and how smart and enlightened and spiritual we think we are. Christ took on the form of a servant. Let’s start asking ourselves how social media can be used as a tool to serve God, not ourselves.

Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God. (Colossians 3:17)

Let’s use the incredible opportunity of our time of being connected to the world for the glory of God. God placed us in this time and place for a purpose. He planned for us to live in this social media culture. What satan means for evil God means for good. Paul meant everything. As Christians in the 21st century, it means social media. We cannot rant and rave about how unjustly we are treated and our rights. First, because Christ never did. He says to expect to be hated. So can we just get over that? Secondly, if it’s not displaying Christ then it’s not glorifying Christ. The purpose for our lives is to bring Glory to God. Including social media. Instead of using it for your own personal platform, how about let’s try leveraging it for the glory of our good and gracious God?

Set your minds on things above. (Colossians 3:2)

We get so lost and caught up in life. Does proving your point on a post eternally matter? I do not like the super spiritual guilt driven posts, you know the ones: you better post this or you’re denying God. What about everything else I’m posting? What about my attitude and actions outside of that post? I can post all the “spiritual” posts I want but if the rest of my life and my posts are not matching up then there is a problem. If we do have a mind fixed on eternity, we will post out of love. Not out of anger or debate or proving our point, no matter how right we think we are. We will pause before we post. We will care more about people than positions and posts. We will see their soul not just their stance. There is so much more to life. Most of our social media problems would be resolved if we just lived this way. Eternally minded. One day, I’m going to be gathered around the throne of God most high. I want as many people there with me as possible. Really, that’s just all that matters.

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are to “stir one another to love and good deeds” not strife and conflict and contempt. Let us begin to use social media to encourage one another, to bring unity in our diversity of thought and most importantly to make much of our Savior.

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