We live in a time period where our advancement of technology has introduced a new way of communicating. It is called social media. Social media offers many positive and constructive things. It has opened doors for the spread of the gospel that might otherwise not be available. I have heard of gospel preachers having Bible studies with people in other countries. It allows parents and children, when separated by distance, to see each other face to face. Social media has simply exploded the opportunities for communicating.
I would like to challenge all who use this medium to think about a couple of things. Too often it is used negatively rather than positively. When used negatively I wonder, would we say face to face what we post? Why does social media keep gossip from being gossip? Why does social media permit me to vent my anger using words of malice? Does social media make those things right? Are they now acceptable? How does ripping in to someone and destroying their reputation become right simply because it is posted on social media? How is a temper fit and rant justified because it was posted on social media? Do the simple principles and Biblical truths vanish because we have social media?
We need to think before we post, “Am I applying the Golden Rule? Am I doing unto others what I would they do unto me?” Doesn’t the Golden Rule still have merit?
We need to think before we post, “Am I being kindly affectionate toward one another in brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another (Rom. 12:10)? Is that applicable because I slay with a key board?”
We need think before we post, “Is this walking worthy of my calling with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another, endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:1-3)?”
We need to think before we post, “Am I being likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, one mind (Phil. 2:2)? Am I esteeming others better than myself (Phil. 2:3)? Is this representative of the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:4)? Does using social media and using a keyboard change that?”
Okay you’ve got me. I am not on social media. But I also have never slept on a bed of poison ivy. Further, I have never run in front of a Mack truck. I have never slept in a den of rattlesnakes either. Does that disqualify me from warning anyone about engaging in any of those behaviors?
I may not know much about social media, because I am not on it, but I do know something about the Bible. I do know something about the carnage I see that is a by-product of people who misbehave or do not properly handle social media.
Social media does not change our responsibility to God to be responsible for what we post. What we post still says something about our heart. It says something about our intentions. It also does not change the spiritual truth that I will be accountable for what I say and what I post.
Maybe I am too simple. I just don’t get it. Why would people who are supposed to have a common faith in Christ, and share a common love, be so malignant toward each other on social media? We can be better!
Oh, one more thing. Lest I be guilty of what I warn, I am not saying something with the keyboard that I have not said publicly many times. Hopefully reading will be more effective than speaking has been.
- Rickie Jenkins