Social Media is a curious thing.
People engage in the use of Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or even the once revolutionary now on life support Myspace do so for a plethora of reasons. Some do so seeking relationships. Some to keep informed. Some to spark conversation. We could go on and on here, no doubt. For some it’s a hobby, for others, let’s be honest, it’s an idol but the facts are in…people, for whatever their personal reasons, are flocking to Social media sites at an astounding rate.
If I’m correct in my remembrance, I read recently that if all the FB users in the world were to be placed on an island somewhere, it would immediately become the 3rd largest country in the world. I would certainly hold citizenship there as well. I really enjoy the use of Social media both personally and professionally.
We could spend a good bit of time debating whether or not Jesus would tweet or if Paul would post a pic of himself “planking” one of the many statues throughout Rome, but I’d rather share a couple of things to think about concerning the Christians use of Social media.
Out of the overflow of the heart, the fingers tweet – truth is, what we tweet really does reveal a lot about our hearts. As a matter of fact, I think that a pretty good self examination for a believer in todays Social media culture is to check the past couple weeks worth of Status Updates from our own timeline. What would you see? Blessing or cursing? Contentment or complaining? Have your tweets pointed to a life of gratitude toward God?
Social Media is a great relational tool but poor substitute for true fellowship- Many have supplanted actual, you know…real life friendships with a live chat. Now, I freely admit that I have found it easier (and sometimes profitable) to send a quick message rather than picking up a phone or paying a visit and I also admit that on more than one occasion I’ve been convicted of doing so, repented and changed my behavior. That’s not to say that we shouldnt IM, message or whatnot. In fact, I believe that Social media can greatly aid in building and maintaining personal relationships. The problem comes when Social Media becomes the chief measure of relationship building or an “easy out” when hard…face to face… conversations need to take place.
What I Tweet….Matters – I really believe that this issue could be the Mayor of “UhOhIveGotAProblem Town”. Christians, I know that on your friends list, there are those who are not in Christ. I know that you love them. I know that you desire that they may know Jesus and have a future that involves worship around the Throne of God. I know that you would love to lead them to the cross. I HOPE that you realize that they are watching EVERY character that you type. Are you advancing the Gospel through Social media or have your tweets become a big fat stumbling block?
On a related note– As many of you know, for the last few months Double Springs Church has been seeking a Godly, Gospel advancing, grace saturated man to fill the role of Associate Pastor. I have gotten umpteen billion resumes’ (they really must not know how furiously insane working with me can be). Guess what? I looked through the last several months of tweets/updates from each prospect and immediately trashed several resumes’ based on what I saw (or even didn’t see, for that matter).
Social Media doesn’t trump God – I know that the statement I just made seems to be a given….but our actions to indeed cast a pretty good picture of whether of not we view God rightly. Let me explain…a good friend of mine recently dumped his FB page because it had become an idol. Some say that was an extreme measure. I say that was a Godly response to sin that had crept into his life. Anything that we value, love, invest in more than God is in fact and idol and must be dealt with harshly. The natural question from a believer wanting to know if Social Media has become an idol in their own life would obviously be “How do I know if that has happened?”. Well, there is no easy answer but a couple of questions we could ask ourselves are…Can I go a day, or two without logging on? How much time do I spend on Social Media compared to how much time I spend with God? Do I find myself thinking about whats up on FB even when I’m not logged in? Am I using FB/Twitter to catch/spread gossip (i.e. sin)? Do I post with the hopes of flattering comments concerning the content to immediately follow? Do I take great pride in the number of friends on my list? Be cautious here, for the sake of the Gospel going forth.
At the end of the day, I want to reiterate, I DON’T think social media is the spawn of satan. I believe, in all sincerity, that it could be one of the greatest evangelistic tools that God has placed into the hands of His people and even a spark plug for Great commission living. BUT….like any good thing, it can be perverted.
Be careful little fingers, what you tweet.
I Love you All and Soli Deo Gloria!