February 11, 2021

What about using social media?

By Tim

Are social media networks the next big mission field or an enormous waste of time? Should a Christian participate in social networking? The answer to these questions should be determined by whether we can honestly ask God to bless and use our actions for His own good purposes. “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). If we are willing to let God use our participation for His glory, we have freedom to participate.

Christians who choose to participate in social networking should be aware of the negative aspects of social networking. It should be remembered that not everyone on the Internet has motives, and we should use safety precautions, utilize the privacy settings, and be selective as to who is accepted as a “friend”. Parents should limit, regulate, and manage their child’s use of social networking sites. Today’s selfie culture has an obsession with self-expression and self-promotion, and can be seen by the amount of self-portraits on social media.

It is said that if you wake up in the morning and the first thing you crave is a drink you might be an alcoholic. If you wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is check your phone to read email or scan through your social media before you get out of bed might be an addict. Studies have shown that overuse or wrong motives in social media participation can breed narcissism. When we rely on social media sites primarily to promote ourselves or draw attention to ourselves, it is time to take a step back. It should be assumed that everything written is permanent and viewable by everyone. Furthermore, while maintaining relationships is important and healthy, addiction is not. Limiting the amount of time we devote to these social networking sites is both healthy and wise.

On the other hand, there are definitely positive aspects of social networking. For the Christian, social media sites can be an enormously productive mission field. Social networking sites can engage spiritual seekers on the Internet, meeting those seekers where they are. Just like face-to-face evangelism, we can establish credibility and authenticity in the seeker’s natural and comfortable environment, and then build on that foundation and share the love of Christ with new online friends.

Remember that John the Baptist’s approach to personal fame is summed up in his famous statement “He (Jesus) must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). Jesus was clear that to be great in the kingdom of God one must become a servant (Matthew 23:11). His life was the antithesis of the selfie culture’s obsession with self. We are also instructed not to desire to be rich but to seek wisdom, godliness, and contentment instead (1 Timothy 6:6, 9–10; Proverbs 3:13–16). James 1:19 says we should be “quick to listen and slow to speak.” These truths should be applied to posts on social media. We should always examine our motives for posting.

The battle cries of New Testament Christianity have always been “Take up your cross and follow Jesus! Be crucified with Christ. Store up for yourselves treasure in heaven, not here on earth” (Luke 9:23; Galatians 2:20; Matthew 6:19). But the battle cries of selfie Christianity sound like this: “God thinks you are awesome! Follow your dreams! Speak positively, and God will bless it.” This pseudo-gospel has integrated with the selfie culture, and the heresy is going virtually undetected by millions.

I personally have limited my time on social media and purpose to use it for sharing Scripture, challenging people to use their time for the Lord, and reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe time is short, and we must make sure we use our time wisely for the Lord. Friends we must remember that: “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

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