I had to think very carefully before writing this blog post because I didn’t want it to turn into a rant. The truth is, this is an issue that I need to work on just as much as the next person. I still think it needs to be said though.
Do we ever think about how what we say and do affects other people’s souls?
Social media has become unbelievably popular over the past five years. It seems like just about everyone I know either has a Facebook or Twitter account. Why not? It’s a great way to stay connected with friends and to keep up with the world around us. In fact, as I’ve stated in an earlier post, these social media outlets can serve as a great way to reach out those who do not know Christ. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that these very same resources, when used incorrectly, can have the exact opposite results.
Far too many times we treat our Facebook and Twitter accounts as our own private diary. We post statuses and tweet messages as if we are writing in a personal journal that we’ll slide right back under our pillow. The problem is, they aren’t private at all. Every one of our friends and sometimes even the whole world can see what we post online. Perhaps it’s the fact that we can hide behind a computer to say these things and not have to say them to someone’s face that makes us more comfortable. Perhaps some of us just don’t care.
As Christians, we need to be mindful not only of what we say online but how we say it (the same should go for the way we speak when we’re not online). We need to remember that these online resources might be our only contact with non-Christians that we know. Are the things we post online encouraging them to dig deeper for the truth or causing them to slam the door on us? Even a post that is biblically true can be harmful if it’s said in the wrong way. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the verse from Ephesians 4:15 which tells us to speak the truth in love. The same should be true when we share truth on Facebook or Twitter.
An excellent example can be seen right now with the build up to the presidential race later this year. Everyone has an opinion when it comes to politics and social media tends to be the place most people turn to share their opinions. I have no problem with that (and I don’t think God does either) as long as we are doing so in a respectful way. However, when we start bashing a political candidate in a slanderous way or when we begin to say hateful things about those who have a different opinion, there is no benefit. Those that agree will simply “like” or “re-tweet” while it will push those who disagree further away. Nothing is accomplished that way. Instead, we need to share our thoughts in a loving and respectful way.
When individuals reject the message of Christ because of what it says, the fault is not our own. If, however, people are rejecting the message because we continue to throw it at them in a hurtful and unloving way, I believe God will hold us accountable for that. So, each time you post a comment, share a post or re-tweet someone else’s thoughts, make sure you think about it first. Don’t only ask yourself whether the statement is true. Ask yourself whether posting it will show the lost that we love them and care for their souls. If it doesn’t, find another way to say it. You’re not the only one who will see what you post or share.