Social media has allowed us the immense opportunity to be a beacon of light in God’s ministry. We not only can show the world how God has crafted each of us, individually, but we can also come together and show just how God has worked through the ministry as a whole. With this great opportunity, however, comes great responsibility and oftentimes we fail to act or behave in the manner that God would approve.
It becomes a popularity contest or even worse, many fall to the ways of the world and partake in social media practices that aren’t always shedding the best light on followers of Christ. Hey, I’m not saying we need to post scripture or quote Jesus 24/7. I’m a huge sports fan and I’ll definitely live tweet events like it’s nobodies business or retweet witty memes. There is etiquette that needs to be exercised, however. We are called to be different than the world, not to be popular. Thinking on that, I came up with 7 Things Christians Have To Stop Doing On Social Media!
1. Publicly judging or Pointing Out People’s Sins or Mistakes
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone…” Matthew 18:15 (KJV)
As the verse above states, if your brother (or sister) in Christ sins, go to him “alone,” meaning privately. I think a lot of Christians skip this verse because some people’s social media profiles look like Santa’s naughty list, full of names and offenses of said party, only everyone can see. I think what’s even more frightening is that some believe it’s their duty to publicly “call out” people and that simply isn’t true, neither is it our place.
“Judge not, that you be not judged.” Matthew 7:1 (ESV)
Remember, you are neither the lawgiver nor the judge. For every judgment you make, you too are judged.
2. Getting Into Pointless Arguments
How many times have you scrolled through your timeline and start to see the rumblings of an epic argument? You start to think to yourself, please just let it go; Christ-like, not fight night.
We all know it never dissipates but escalates to epic proportions. As followers of Christ, we need to be aware that others are aware of our actions. So, how you respond to those Internet trolls, religious argument baiters (those who bait you into arguments) or those who don’t know God’s grace, it says a lot to others whether we like it or not. When you partake in these arguments, it only allows them to say, “I told you so, all Christians are…”
God tells us to be slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19-20) while also warning us not to let Satan gain a foothold (Ephesians 2: 27). If you feel you can’t articulate a proper response or discussion without an imminent argument in the virtual boxing ring, log out of your social media account and leave it alone.
3. Criticizing Our Own
For our naysayers, Christianity is filled with a bunch of people who can’t even get along with themselves and you know what, if you take a peak at social media…we give them all the ammunition to keep spouting that belief. You have half of social media saying they hate said mega church pastor; another percentage going to town on preachers appearing on Preachers of Atlanta; you have Christian women humiliating Christian men; Christian men straight disowning Christian women; someone criticizes another for how they spread the Gospel. You get the point right?
Every family has a bit of dysfunction, but that’s our family. If you wouldn’t put Aunt Judy on blast for her bad drinking habit or wig that never fits, why would you put God’s family out there like that?
Imagine this scenario: you just finished criticizing a mega church pastor or going on a rant about how Christian men do this or don’t do that; then you turn to someone who doesn’t know Christ and ask, “So can I tell you more about Jesus? Come to church!” Do you think they’ll listen? Do you think they’ll come? All signs point to nope.
4. Complaining or Whining About This or That
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing…” Philippians 2:14 (ESV)
Paul hits this dead on the head about what God expects from us, even on social media. We need to stop filling our profiles with complaints, understanding just how much our reach has extended in the modern age. We are called to be lights in this dark world and when you do more complaining than shining, you aren’t effectively doing what God called us to do. If you need to complain, do it offline to someone who can steer you out of that dark thought or hard moment. Show the world that we can overcome, not be subjugated to falling prey to this world.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)
5. Stop Posting Inappropriate Things
“Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
1 John 2:6 (ESV)
I said I wasn’t going to preach but Church I’m gone preach! The above verse states that whomever says he abides in Him, ought to walk the same, meaning walking the same as Jesus. I don’t think Jesus would be retweeting pics from borderline pornographic accounts; I don’t think Jesus would be posting selfies of himself wearing an outfit that shows every nook and cranny of his body; I don’t think Jesus would go on a massive curse-laden rant about how at the club last night, he saw someone he knew and they acted as if they didn’t know him. I’m done…Stop posting inappropriate things family. When in doubt, #WWJD?
6. Un-friend Me Now Posts
These posts usually mean that there is a massive “roast” coming or fear of someone disagreeing with what you say and the impending results may vary. It usually goes, “If you don’t like what I have to say! Or if you believe differently, un-friend me now!” Listen, the point of social media is to connect and as Christians, it serves as an awesome platform. If 100% of your followers believed in only what you believed, you aren’t doing justice. Remember, Jesus congregated with the sinners and saints alike.
7. Complaining Against Relationship Partners
This is a great one that we really need to practice more. There are so many people that get online and just put their husband/wife, girlfriend/boyfriend or potential interest on full blast. It’s true; sometimes people don’t live up to our expectations. Spouses or partners will lie, cheat, forget anniversaries, or whatever it may be. Putting these subtle shots on social media is just asking for the worst. You’re not only hurting your partner, but you get an inbox full of DM’s from people “shooting their shot” because you know…they can do better. Go to the person or handle it in private.
BONUS: Please Pray Posts That Air Out Sin
Okay, don’t get me wrong, “pray for me” or “pray for such and such” posts are great. We can get more people interceding on others behalf. However, when you go and air out all the details like, “Please pray for John, he fornicated with Suzy and contracted an STD and we just need your prayers.” Well, that benefits no one, especially John and Suzy.