I often think of what Jesus would do, how he would be treated, and what his strategy would look like if he lived in our time. One thing that I am convinced he would do is use social media. I can definitely see Jesus using social media to create some new “red-letter words.” I am also convinced that there are ways that he would want us to use social media:
I am consistently amazed at the sheer number of completely untrue articles I see circulating on social media. One of the saddest parts is that it takes mere seconds to find out for yourself that they are untrue. They are also generally disproven within a matter of hours, leaving everyone that shares the article looking like they have no idea what they are talking about. This includes alien sightings, conspiracy theories, celebrity deaths, and the list goes on and on. This does leave followers of Christ facing a very specific problem: trustworthiness. Non-Christians begin to get a “boy-who-cried-wolf” mentality towards Christians that continuously post things that are untrue. So, what does that mean when you post something from the Bible or your local church? It means that the post is now considered untrustworthy. So, before you share or post something just because you see it on the internet, wait a day or two to make sure it is true. Or, better yet, maybe don’t say anything at all. Remember Proverbs 29:20: “There is more hope for a fool than for someone who speaks without thinking.”
Paul, in Ephesians 4:29, says “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Is a word any less a word whether it is printed or spoken? Social media words count here. I cannot count the times that Christians have attacked the local church, their family, friends, or enemies. This is a very good way to drive wedges between you and the non-Christian community. Let’s look at the passage again: “Let everything you say be good and helpful” (emphasis mine). Everything. Good and helpful. The Bible doesn’t leave ANY wiggle room here. If you are using social media for negativity, disrespect, or attacks against another person, it’s wrong. Done. End of story. No gray area.
Too much do we see social media as a platform for snooping, for passive-aggressive attacks, and airing out that dirty laundry. We must remember that it can be a tool to reach the world for Christ. But, this means being strategic. This means you have to keep a clean slate on social media so that people will trust you. It means not being negative so that people will see that you are different. Finally, it means using it in such a way that it brings glory to God instead of drama to us.