Meanderings of a Minister


Ten Commandments of Christian Social Media, Part II
April 11, 2016, 3:21 pm
Filed under: Articles, Book Review | Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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Last week, we started looking at Craig Groeschel’s book, #struggles.  At the end of this book, Groeschel gives Ten Commandments for how Christians should use social media so that the usage matches their claim that Jesus is Lord of their lives.  The first five were as follows:

  1. Put God first in all you say and post.
  2. Love others as you want to be loved.
  3. Use social media to facilitate, not replace, real relationships.
  4. Use social media instead of being controlled by it as an idol.
  5. Turn your virtual other cheek to posts that offend you.

Sixth, do not post out of emotion.  When you are emotional, this is not the time to address sensitive issues in real life.  What makes us think it would be any better online?  If you are mad, sad, way too glad, or some other emotion you may be feeling extremely high or low, this can be a dangerous time to post.  Much like the syrupy love letters you wrote in middle school, emotional posts can be an embarrassment later.  The difference is that they live on forever in cyberspace and you never know when they will come back to haunt you.

Seventh, always reflect Jesus, loving God whether online or off.  The hallmark of a believer in Jesus is that they ought to love God, Jesus’ Father.  They ought to love Him in the way He desires to be loved.  How is that?  1 John 5:3 says, “For this is the love of God; that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.”  So how do we love God?  By obeying God.  How has God told us to treat others?  With love (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).  How has God told us to use our mouths?   Cleanly (Ephesians 5:3-5).  How has God told us reflect His character?  In truth (Colossians 3:9).  Make sure that the posts, texts, emails, pins, and anything else you do online reflect your obedience to those commands.

Eighth, do not use social media to fuel temptations.  Wait!  I know many people are automatically going to think of pornography when they read this statement, but temptations do often include pornography, even for believers.  Nearly one half of all website visits each year are for the purpose of pornography.  80% of Christian men responded to a survey from Focus on the Family indicating they had visited a pornographic website in the previous week.  But temptation does not only come from pornography.  For some, it is visiting amazon.com and shopping.  For others, it is zappos.com and shoes.  For some others, it is online gambling.  For still others, it is the temptation to be fake on social media to impress people and make people think you are better, richer, prettier, stronger, or more connected than real life.  Paul told Timothy, But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.”  (1 Timothy 6:11)

Ninth, form your own opinions and don’t just follow the crowd.  For many people, seeing the trends of online activity causes them to want to adopt the same thoughts, values, or opinions.  For instance, many people were doing the bucket challenge to raise awareness of ALS.  Soon, celebrities were posting their videos as well as just about everyone.  People donated a lot of money to the research for ALS until they realized some of the money was used to harvest embryos for stem cell research.  Another trend is the self-promotion that comes from selfies.  Should we always be shouting to people, “Look at me!”  Should we instead have the same attitude as John the Baptist, “He must increase.  I must decrease.”

Lastly, do not base your identity on what people think of you.  Many people can become joyful of depressed depending upon the number of people who “like” their pictures, repin their pictures, retweet their tweets, or mention them and their blog.  We need to be careful that we don’t make public acceptance the measure of our worth.  Some people spend their time worrying what people think of them until they realize how seldom others actually do.  Instead, why don’t we adopt the stand of David in Psalm 139:14, “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.”

Let’s use social media, but let’s make sure it matches the rest of our lives in living for Jesus.

 

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