Let’s face it: we live in a social media world. Countless hashtags and seemingly pointless photos of meals, outfits and pets; this is our culture.
Here are four guidelines for Christians and their use of social media:
1. Use it
I know many Christians who don’t want to use social media.
They ask questions like, “Why do I need social media?”
The heart of this question is selfish. Instead, Christians should be asking, “How can I use social media to encourage others to love Jesus?”
In the New Testament, we see Jesus and Paul among other early church leaders using cultural means of communication to dialogue with and witness to the culture they lived within. For them, they spoke in marketplaces and temple courts and wrote epistles.
Today, Christians ought to use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and blogging among others. These platforms should be used not only to empower their influence in a technological age, but to expand it as well.
2. Don’t abuse it
No one likes a nagger. Don’t use your social media to shove your faith in people’s faces.
Yes, I do encourage to post Christ-exalting content (quotes, blog posts, music, etc); however, be careful not to overload your nonChristian friends’ news feeds with Jesus. This is the equivalent of shoving your beliefs in some else’s face. Instead of just posting words about Jesus (verses, quotes, etc), post pictures of your life that display Jesus (time with your spouse, family, church, etc) and stories/articles of hope and redemption (blog posts, articles, etc).
Today, talk is cheap. People don’t want to simply read words about Jesus; they want to see those words and truths about Jesus come to life through our own lives.
Personally, I try to post pictures and stories about my wife and I and how we love and serve each other because Jesus loved and served us first. Often times, Christians know about Jesus but they don’t necessarily know how that can practically influence their lives.
Use social media as a means to display practical ways for Christian living.
3. Post with love
We all know those Christians on social media: they turn a friendly comment feed into a useless heated debate.
If you’re like me, you have to ask God for extra help to love those people.
When your non-Christian friends post content that isn’t in line with the truth of the gospel, be humble and gracious knowing that you 1) did nothing to discover the truth of Who Jesus is; He revealed it to you and 2) you don’t know everything.
I know it can be frustrating but sometimes we have to resist responding.
Ask my wife: there have been numerous times when I wanted respond but I withheld simply because I knew my response would not be rooted in love for that person but for my pride.
Before you click “enter” or “submit,” ask yourself if the purpose of your is response is loving and encouraging the other person/s.
4. Post with purpose
If you’re posting more pictures about your physical food than about your spiritual food, we have a problem.
Don’t waste your posts.
Whether you have 20 friends/followers or 2,000, you have a platform and a means to share and encourage people with Jesus.
Don’t take this lightly.
A Word of Warning
Although I do strongly encourage Christians to use and engage in social media, I do also understand that we should do so with caution. Just like anything else in life, social media can quickly turn from a beneficial instrument for redemption to a weapon of destruction to our joy in Jesus.
Be watchful and mindful of how much you use and engage with social media. Let social media not be your god but a platform to proclaim and display your God.