Christians and social media
There is no getting around it: we have traded our privacy for the convenience of being connected to college friends or grandchildren. But identity theft is not the privacy I’m most concerned with. I’m concerned when Christians share information on social media that shouldn’t be shared at all—details about problems at work or home. I’m concerned when they ask relative strangers for advice about things for which their churches provide counsel through pastors, older women or mentors. Social media is no place to reflect on our worst selves.
Why would you ask Facebook friends, some of whom don’t know you or the Lord, what to do about your spouse? Or share things about your kids that will cause others to judge them with no context. We should stop confessing our sins online. And stop confessing our friends and family’s sins too. This is not being transparent. It is being careless with the reputation of people you love and the church you attend. Plan on your posts being permanent
Remember what you share online doesn’t go away. It is being kept somewhere, so before you post something, imagine what it will sound like in 20 years. Then imagine it will probably sound worse. It reminds me of Christ’s warning that we will give an account for every idle word. Now we don’t even have to wait for eternity. No one should be more careful about what they say online than a Christian. I don’t say this to suggest you say nothing at all. Your voice is needed. But everything the Scripture says— about how our speech should be seasoned with grace or how we should avoid coarse jesting—is more important online, because it is not private and it is permanent.
Reread the things you say before you say them. Ask the Spirit to give you discernment and wisdom, because when you get it wrong, it reflects on your church and your God.
What do your posts, taken as a whole, say about your priorities? I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever post a picture of your new car or amazing meal or cute kid. But I am saying if you post about the same things all the time, it says something about your heart. And perhaps your idols.
Social media has so much potential to offer life-giving words, it would be a shame if no one noticed them. If people hide your posts because you are always talking about yourself, you have lost the opportunity to be a blessing. Life is rich and varied and God’s blessings are real and important. By all means celebrate them. But don’t worship them. Jesus said what comes out of your mouth reveals your heart. Your priorities are pretty clear on social media. Check them.