OceanSide church of Christ

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The Christian and Social Media
by: Dalton Gilreath

Social media has exploded over the past decade offering a new way for us to communicate with people all over the globe. While the ability to post public comments, pictures, videos, and chat online can be a great way for us to keep in touch with loved ones, meet new friends, and even evangelize, we must also be aware that such a powerful asset also has the ability to be misused and tempt us to sin in new areas. Social media is not going to slow down anytime soon, and while we shouldn’t overreact to its dangers, we should not be ignorant of them either. We need to take special care to keep our Christianity in check in all areas of our lives, especially with our use of social media. We should always remember, even when we are online and things might seem less personal, to conduct ourselves in a manner which would be pleasing to Christ. I found some thoughts online that I would like for you to consider.

1.    Be careful before you hit the “send” button (Proverbs 15:2, 21:23). Once it is pushed there is no turning back. Make sure the message could not be taken the wrong way. Be sure you are not needlessly offending someone or giving away personal information that should be kept private.

2.    Don’t use social media as a way to vent anger (Proverbs 29:11). It is not appropriate to use the internet to vent personal issues or church problems, especially in public statuses for all to see. Even if you are using vague terms, such as “some people”, etc, (1) this is going to cause people to ask questions which can tempt you to offer unnecessary gossip that could harm a reputation or (2) some people may be close enough to you to know exactly who you are talking about. If you have problems with someone go speak to them personally. No one else needs to know or get involved.

3.    Never lie or embellish the truth (Ephesians 4­:25). It is easy to embellish or blatantly lie when one is emotional or passionate about something. Remember that embellishment is the same as lying.

4.    Do not glorify yourself (Proverbs 25:27, 26:12). When we do something good, we naturally might seek praise. Instead, advertise the good others do and always give the glory to God.

5.    Watch out for ungodly influences (1 Corinthians 15:33). Just like you would in “real life”, be careful of worldly ideas, false teaching, ungodly jokes, filthy language, and strangers trying to contact you on the Internet.

6.    Don’t get addicted (1 Corinthians 6:12). Some spend hours upon hours on social media sites. If we are not careful it can easily take over our life. If you find yourself glued to your computer or constantly checking your social media app on your phone, limit yourself to a certain amount of time per day or a certain number of times that you can open the app (or delete the app if you cannot control yourself). Don’t let social media become your main form of communication with others.

7.    Protect you marriage (Proverbs 7:5-27). The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81 percent of its members have used evidence from social networking sites in the past five years against their spouse in a divorce case involving infidelity. Be careful who you are talking to and what are you viewing. If you couldn’t talk that way or view that with your spouse in the room, you should not be doing it at all.

8.    Use social networking to God’s glory (Ephesians 4:29). We can use this resource as a way to evangelize the Gospel and have a positive influence on those around us. Use social media to further God’s cause and not Satan’s.

Social media in your hands can be a tool for God or for Satan. Remember these eight thoughts and be sure that you are using it for God and not the latter. Let’s pray that seeds can be sown, hearts comforted, and soul’s edified by our time spent on social media.