Social media, just like other types of technology, has blessings and curses. If you don’t understand that, you’re likely to fall into the trap of using it for sinful purposes. That is why we need to be intentional with how we use social media.
We are Christians. As such, we should use our God-given wisdom to remind ourselves that God will hold us accountable for every careless word we speak—or type—on social media (Matthew 12:36). It’s not as if this verse only applies to the words we speak; it also applies to the words we type.
I think it’s imperative in our day to be intentional with social media—to have a plan for it. How do I want to use this medium? How often should I get on it? We need to ask ourselves these questions because, ultimately, we should want to glorify God in our social media usage.
Have a Plan
When I say to have a plan, I don’t mean that you have to stick to it down to the last iota. My point is, we need to know why we use social media. I think one of the traps we get sucked into is we are constantly on social media, which leaves us vulnerable to going places we shouldn’t, neglecting other responsibilities, or engaging in vain discussions or arguments.
Because of that, we need to be all the more intentional. For example, I try to only post blogs, share some thoughts on occasion, and share a few quotes every now and then. Not to say that you can’t do more than that. I do on occasion! My point is know what you want to use it for.
Many Christians use social media for their own gain. Has it ever occurred to us that we should use it not to build ourselves up but to serve others? Not to say I haven’t been guilty of that—we all have—but that’s what we should be using it for: serving others. Social media can be a tremendous blessing, but we must be good stewards of it.
Avoid Vain Arguments
We Christians have a tendency to argue about everything on social media. Are there times when arguments might be beneficial? Sure. But they’re few and far between. If you ask me, I say to use extreme caution. If you really want to discuss it, private message the person and discuss it there or meet in person. One of the main reasons I try to stay out of hot-button arguments is that anybody can see them, which means anybody can jump in—sometimes all at once.
And, to be quite frank, we all laugh and joke about “stirring the pot,” but is that really something to laugh about? Should Christians be people that stir the theological or cultural pot? When you post or share something that you know is controversial, what is your motivation behind doing so?
You also have to be aware of how you come across. You’re typing, so people can’t hear your tone or see your facial expression. You might not be angry, but how you respond might seem angry.
Needless to say, I think the command in Matthew 12:36 has been broken millions of times in Facebook/Twitter arguments.
Don’t Live on Social Media
One of my biggest weaknesses—just like all Americans—is I am on social media way too much. I read an article the other day from The Gospel Coalition—read it here—that talked about social media. In the article, the author makes reference to Andy Crouch’s book The Tech-Wise Family, which gives a good plan for when to take a sabbatical, so to speak, from social media.
The advice was to take off…
- One hour a day
- One day a week
- One week a year
I don’t quite understand how one takes off one hour per day, because we’re not on our phones every hour of the day. However, I believe this is a good plan. Be intentional about taking time off from social media. Remember when social media didn’t exist? The world was still fine!
Like I said, this is an area I need to work on. I kick myself sometimes because of how much I am on social media, mostly just scrolling through my Facebook or Twitter feed. Just ponder this convicting quote from John Piper:
One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.
We have time. Not having the time is never a good excuse not to pray or read your Bible–definitely with how much time we spend on social media, let alone our phones. If we neglect our spiritual disciplines–such as Bible reading and prayer–because of social media, then it’s time to hang up social media–for awhile.
Glorifying God through Social Media
Friends, do we want to glorify God in all that we do? Then let’s be intentional about social media. Use it for His glory, not ours. Have a social media plan. Take breaks. Serve others with it. Use extreme caution when deciding to enter into the cesspool of social media arguments.
We will surely give an account to God for every word we say. Let’s take that serious!
Soli Deo Gloria
Cover photo courtesy of Tracy Le Blanc at pexels.com