Social Media: Spiritual Thermostat?

It’s amazing how open people are on their social media platforms. These platforms provide a quick and efficient way to share ideas, items of interest, our latest personal news, our likes and dislikes, and anything that we might want to publish to our circle of friends and family. We are all now content creators, and distributors. But what is the quality of the content we’re distributing? Is it honest? Is it worth sharing? Why do we think it important to share? The what and the why are both very important.

As Christians we are called to be in the world but not of the world. What does this mean?  To be of the world?  What does that actually look like for a person to be “of the world?” What if any differences should we see between a person who has put off the old man and is born-again in Christ, and a person who loves the world and self? Should we even expect there to be a difference?

According to popular trends, distinctions are looked on as being bad, even downright hateful. For example, if a Christian were to say that same-sex marriage is evil, and that the Biblical pattern of marriage between man and woman is good, the masses would condemn them to the coliseum of social ridicule, and label them as propogators of hate speech, as bigots. But this should not surprise us. For the world has always hated Jesus and His followers for saying that it’s ways are evil. What should surprise us is when people who profess to be Christians publically condone immorality, and the pursuit of worldly things.

Take Facebook for instance. When the U.S. Supreme Court declared their support of Sodomy, how many people who profess to be Christians changed their Facebook main image to include a transparent rainbow over the top, showing their support of what God hates? Or who, when Halloween comes around, dress up their children, or themselves and go out trick-or-treating so as to prove that Christians can be cool and relevant too? Was is done to be all things to all people? With the goal of sharing the gospel with others?

Or maybe your family sought to redeem and sanctify that day for the Lord, with God-focused activity- possibly a celebration and remembrance of the Reformation? I do believe that we can redeem certain things unto the Lord, but we need to be wise as to how we go about redeeming what the Church has a traditionally looked down upon.

We should never do something with the intention of causing our brethren-in-the-Lord to stumble. Likewise we do not want to give non-Christians the impression that they are good, and accepted  no matter how they live their lives. There is a difference between the Christian and the non-Christian. Both are sinners, but one is saved and ever being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. The intentions of our heart is not the measure of good and evil. We must love what God loves, hate what God hates, and obey what He commands. And that might just offend everyone. But offense is not our goal. Truth, obedience, love- those are our goals.

What does it show about our walk with the Lord when the primary focus of our online posting is the latest game results, the next blockbuster movie, what restaurant we went to, what things we bought, or want to buy, where we went on vacation, our latest fitness achievement, etc? If that’s all we posted about, then quite frankly, we are promoting self, the flesh, and the pursuits of the world.

When we are sharing facts about ourself, what we ate, how far we ran, where we went- is it done to update distant family & friends? If that’s the case then it’s a wonderful thing to do. What a blessing to be able to be connected to our family and friends no matter what part we live on this green Earth.

When we share, is it done to display a certain persona among your peers? To receive praise and envy from others? When we share our thoughts about a ball game, movie, or the latest news, are we doing so in a way that is consistent from a Biblical perspective? If not, why not? Could it be that we’ve joined hands with the world and wish to tell everyone there’s no distinction between you and me? You can feel safe around me? I will tolerate you and your sin, because God is love? Let us think twice before we click the publish button. What are our motives? Am I being honest? Truthful? Biblical?

Then again, maybe social media is not the ultimate test of our spiritual health and maturity. But it does reflect a whole lot of where our hearts are- at least the part we’re comfortable sharing with the world. If your social media activity was a mirror image of your heart, what would others see? Would they see more of you or more of Christ? Would they be encouraged in their faith? Edified by your words? Would they see a reflection of Christ’s glory in your life?

Social media is a powerful tool. It’s not inherently good or bad. My intention was not to make you feel bad about using it but rather remind you to use it wisely, and carefully. May we strive to use this powerful influence of social media to promote all that is good (Philippians 4:8), to edify the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 14:26), to lovingly and clearly share the truth of God to our unsaved family and friends, (Ephesians 4:15) and to glorify Him who befriended us way before Facebook (Romans 5:8)!

What are your thoughts about social media? I’d love to hear from you below!

Photo credit: .v1ctor Casale. via / CC BY

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