(Old Facebook Post – Expanded)
Let’s talk about social media. But first ponder, in context, this 141-character tweet from Jesus:
“…When so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.’” (Luke 12:1-2 ESV)
This is a warning against hypocrisy. But notice the context: “When so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another.” Isn’t this when hypocrisy is most likely? And isn’t social media the perfect modern equivalent—many thousands of people trampling one another online? Aren’t we tempted to craft a perfect public persona before the crowds that we hope (or fear) are watching? And aren’t we tempted to believe that we actually are the person whom we project ourselves to be?
What is the solution? Not spilling your “ugly guts” on Facebook, surely—although public confession from time to time is indeed healthy. And not becoming a hermit—although many of us do spend too much time seeking crowds, and regular prayerful solitude does help purify our souls. Rather, the solution is to live in line with the gospel—to live so that we will be unashamed when the things that are “hidden” will “be made known.” This means living with integrity, so that our private lives are as beautiful as we wish to look on Pinterest. It means we will not protect private sin behind Twitter testimonies. The gospel says that Jesus is returning to reward the righteous and judge the wicked. In that day, our private lives will become more public than if they had been streamed live online!
Here are ten more gospel truths. Consider how each truth impacts your use of social media. Use the references to help you. Some suggested answers are provided. Use the comments thread to share your answers and suggest more gospel truths that should shape our use of social media.
According to the gospel…
Therefore my use of social media should…
|1. The kingdom of God is at hand (Mark 1:14-15).||Show that my hopes are fixed on Christ’s kingdom, not any earthly kingdom.|
|2. Our words reveal what is in our hearts (Matt. 12:33-37).|
|3. Jesus suffered without insulting or threatening (1 Pet. 2:21-23).|
|4. Jesus rose from the dead. (Rom. 6:1-14).|
|5. The Holy Spirit has been poured out (Acts 2:1-4).||Reflect the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and not grieve him (Eph. 4:29-30).|
|6. Confessing Jesus as Lord is a must (Rom. 10:9).|
|7. We have been forgiven (Eph. 4:32–5:2).|
|8. All Christians belong to one body (1 Cor. 12:14-27).|
|9, The grace that saves us also trains us (Tit. 2:11-14).|
|10. Words without deeds are useless (James 2:14-26).|