Warning: This blog post WILL step on some toes (What else is new?).
Imagine this with me for a moment. Imagine there’s a man in your town who has done every good deed you can think of. This man has cured cancer and gave away the cure for free on top of ending world hunger. After performing these actions, he chose not to speak of it himself, but instead charged his wife to let everyone know the cure for cancer and the end of world hunger were among us. His wife, however, is too caught up in the fact that she once returned a $20 bill she watched a man drop to mention these much more important stories. She’s too wrapped up in her own good deeds to talk about the greater deeds of her husband.
A bit on the nose, isn’t it?
Social media has given us as Christians a whole new way to preach the Gospel, encourage each other and challenge each other to be better disciples. With just a few strokes of a keyboard and the push of a button, we can reach hundreds (in some cases thousands) of people with anything we want to reach them with.
It kind of makes you wonder what Jesus would do with it, doesn’t it?
Social media has made it easy for people to climb onto their soapbox now. Everyone with a Facebook count thinks they have something important to say, and honestly, that’s true. Now, we all have a voice to share our thoughts and opinions somewhere.
And yet, I also see Christians using social media in self-seeking ways, and using their Christianity to do so.
For example, have you ever seen a selfie with a Bible verse attached to it for no reason? Have you ever seen someone who never talks about their Christianity on social media unless they just got back from a mission trip?
When I started this blog several years ago, I started it for all the wrong reasons. I wanted a way to show off my writing skills and my faith at the same time. And I’m still trying to find that balance between using my blog to gain attention and using it as a means to speak the Word of God through social media (of course, by balance, I mean ridding all self-seeking from my motivations for writing this).
My point is this: we should absolutely use social media to talk about our faith, and to spread the Gospel, but we should not use social media to PROMOTE our faith.
““And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Matthew 6:5-8 ESV
So, the question is, when you post, who is it calling attention to?
When you post a selfie with a Bible verse as the caption, are you really just speaking the word of God? If so, why is the image of you?
When you make a post about your mission trip, do you talk about what work God did or what you did?
When tragedy struck Orlando, how did you respond? Did you make a post to legitimately call people to action on something, or did you just want likes?
Social media has turned into a game. It’s turned into people, whether consciously or subconsciously, just saying whatever they can or posting whatever they can or taking whatever picture they can to get people to press like, in what I can only describe is a shouting match of people screaming “Pay attention to me! Pay attention to me!”
And I know you’re thinking, “Well, duh. That’s the point of social media.” And that’s true. And I’m certainly not saying social media is inherently bad.
But we’re called to be in the world and NOT of the world. While the world uses social media to gain attention, we as Christians should use social media to point the attention to God, who deserves all the attention and glory and honor that we’re stealing from Him on the Internet.
And yes, I know some Christians actually use social media to bring glory to God, so I’m condemning all the use of social media that pertains to God that I’ve seen. I just think we should all question our intentions before we post.
Just something to think about.