I think everyone knows both the blessing and the curse of social media. How amazing is it that we can stay connected with friends and family all over the world just by navigating to their page. I have seen firsthand how amazing this tool is by being able to share pictures and videos of my kids with family across an ocean. While these blessings are truly incredible, I think each of us also understands the curse of social media. How it has become a place where people post things they would never say in-person. Where people can invest time and effort to growing their followers and feel completely alone. Because social media isn’t going away anytime soon, I think it is imperative that Christians understand how to utilize social media in a way that is Christ-exalting and good for those around us.
First, consider your motivations. Do you share a lot of pictures on Instagram because you are hoping to get validation about your looks? Are you on Twitter pushing some product or political agenda? I think we need to continually ask ourselves the purpose of a post before we post it. Your motivation will directly relate to what you share and to what we are passionate about. Is it clear from your feed that you are passionate about Christ, or just about some fad or sports team? 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Also Romans 12:11 says, “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” Our priorities, passions and motivations are clear from our social media posts. Is God prioritized on your feed and in your life? I would argue we can’t have one without the other.
Second, consider your audience. Before posting something, think about the people who will be reading it. Our social media friends are vast and varied. We need to consider this diversity when sharing things on social media. For example, do your social media posts leave a good impression of what a Christ-follower looks like to those outside the Church or maybe even challenges them to reconsider their own worldview? “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” (1 Peter 3:15-16). Are you building up the saints with what you share on social media? “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Before you post something, make sure it is representing the Lord well to those outside the Church and encouraging those within.
Third, and most importantly, consider your Lord. Galatians 1:10 says, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Is your social media account the place where you go to vent or relive the glory days? Are you creating a make believe world that God doesn’t get to have a claim over? Honestly, if your social media use isn’t an extension of your desire to see Christ glorified throughout the earth, it is most likely a snare and an idol. I am not saying that posting pictures of your kids is sinful. But I am saying that we all need to consider how we can let Jesus be Lord over EVERY area of our lives, including our online personality. We have such an awesome opportunity to utilize social media for more than just petty things. Let us all consider our social media use and may it reflect how great our King is!