Christians and Social Media
The Christian and Social Media
The internet has revolutionized the way we live, work, and socialize. It is now possible to communicate in real time with anyone around the globe. In effect, it has made the world a very, very, small place. What once was limited to a small number of college students now nearly 60% of Americans have at least one account on a social networking site. Let’s test that, if you do not have one please raise your hand (we respect and admire you). But as you all have seen, most of us have one, and like any new technology we must look at it and make judgments about its usage based upon its moral impacts and utility.
While the bible has little to say about social media and the internet it does have everything to say about our character and how that character ought to control our usage of it.
Before we look at a few things that deal directly with social media let’s make sure we are all on the same page with some universal biblical truths.
- Be Careful little eyes what you see
- What we look at or what we allow to occupy our time influences us Matthew 6:22-23
- Job 31:1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes”
- Philippians 4:8 – The kind of light that fills our room, our body, our character is what is let in through the eyes.
- Be Careful little ears what you hear
- Philippians 4:8 – The direction is purity of mind. To dwell on those things, we need to be careful not to allow other things that would take away from that. That includes the things that we hear.
- Words are the most powerful things we have. Be it in written or spoken form.
- Be careful little mouth what you say
- James 3:8-10
- This is perhaps the hardest and most personal of the three principles. This is not about how much I post or how much I engage with social media. It is about recognizing that just because I have the right to say what I want does not mean I should.
- Colossians 4:6 – One, if you would not say it in person, why are you typing it online? Two, if it does not build up, edify, do I really need to say it?
Dangers of Social Media:
There are some areas that social media can make certain dangers more dangerous and easier to fall into danger with. This because Satan is lurking behind every corner seeking to destroy us. We need to remind ourselves that Satan is always on top of the latest trends and is a master of them all. In Luke 4:13 we read “When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.” Online, unfortunately, is a very opportune time to strike at all of us.
- Gossip – Unfortunately many have confused the clothesline for Facebook and air their laundry there. It can be rather easy to participate in information that is none of our business. Proverbs 16:28 cf. 21:23
- False Doctrine – It can be easy just to like or share anything bible related but we need to be careful with this. False doctrine is everywhere. That bible talk you shared very well may be just an excerpt of some larger talk that is spreading falsehood. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 cf. 1 John 4:1
- Spreading Strife among brethren – Sometimes something is said or done and it is proclaimed to the four corners of the earth over every platform before it gets to the person it needs to be taken, to begin with. Something was said in a sermon or a decision was made by the elders. Look what God had to say about spreading strife in Proverbs 6:16-19. It can be tempting to send a message to a friend or make a post but that temptation is planted there for an evil purpose.
Benefits of Social Media:
Now that list right there may be enough for those who do not have a social media account to say, “And now I’m never getting one” or “hah, I told you, there no good.” But, there are some very good benefits to social media.
- Evangelize the Truth – Jesus in the great commission told us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…” Matthew 28:19 We have liberty as to how we are to spread the gospel. The only thing we cannot change is the gospel! When people see our profiles, what we post, what do they see? Turn to Matthew 10:40. Is that what others see? If you “friend me”, if you accept me, you are accepting Jesus. We can reach people now that we could only dream about in previous generations. We can engage in meaningful bible discussion and help evangelize the lost. Truly this is a good of social media.
- Encourage Brethren – With so much online you inevitably learn more about individuals. Sometimes more than you ever wanted to. However, many times it’s not. You learn who is hurting, who has a need, who could use some encouragement. “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds…” Hebrews 10:23. The world needs a lot of building up and encouraging right now.
- Shining Our Light – The main aim of social media is to express yourself. This gives us the opportunity to shine our light brighter and farther than ever before. Matthew 5:14-16 you and I are lights. Lights set apart from the world to light the world. To show others the path out of the darkness. Look at 1 Peter 2:16-17 our light ought to be present in everything we do or post. Attitude about our day, politics, the people around us. Everything. Are we shinning our light for the gospel?
One final drawback and benefit. “Therefore, be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16. One of the biggest dangers of social media is that it can take up far too much time and too much of you. Knowing that our time is limited and our days are numbered do we really want to spend more time looking at a screen or in the presence of others?
Time is precious my friend. You always think there’s more of it but one day your six and take a nap then your twenty-three and on your own. Soon enough we all will face that bar on high, but friend will you be ready for that day? Make the most of your time this morning by dying to self and living for Jesus.