Posting and sharing things on social media is quick and easy. So easy in fact that it is greatly overused. Every single thing you share on the internet matters and is a reflection of you. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you write your own posts or share posts of others. If you consider yourself a Christian, meaning you use the word Christian to describe yourself to the world, please read and consider these things for yourself.
- Is it true? Do you know where this information came from? Do a little research online to see if it can be backed up. And at the least, if you feel obligated to repost, consider prefacing it with a statement that says you are not sure it’s a fact and aren’t meaning to present it as 100 % such.
- Will this glorify God? Or is there anything in what I am posting that would not glorify him? Would it grieve his heart because of the way it is presented? If so, don’t post.
- Is this how I want to be defined? You have an online image. Depending on if you interact with the same people in “real life”, your online image may be 100% their image of you, or it may only be a partial. But your online image is derived from what you post or share. If you share only stuff about your kids and their activities, you are seen mainly as a proud mom. That’s not necessarily a “bad thing” at all, but it’s not your whole story. If you share only about politics, you are seen as a political activist. These things may be only a small portion of who you are, but this will be your image. It may be fine with you to be defined in this way online. But if it’s not, then keep in mind and don’t share a high proportion of things that would reflect such an image. If you want your online image to reflect who you really are, consider posting a variety of things that reflect you, or the things that are most important to your heart.
- You don’t have to post or share everything you believe in. Sorry, that wasn’t actually a question. There are lots of things I don’t post that I believe and support. Because sometimes a topic is “hot enough” that I know I’ll upset others, and it’s not the time or place. If you read something online that you agree with, your automatic response might be to repost it. The fact that you like it and agree with it is often not wrong at all. The fact that you share it may do more damage to non-Christians than good.
- Are you, as a Christian, known by your love? “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” We are to be known by our love. Not our convictions, and not what we are against. This doesn’t mean there is no place for conviction and standing up for the truth. It simply means the main thing about us Christians that sets us apart is supposed to be love. Do the things you post make you known for your love?
- Are your posts drawing people to Jesus? Maybe you are posting things you believe other Christians will like, but that’s not gonna do one thing to save the lost. Is what you are saying appealing to your non-Christian friends, or making them want to talk to you about the Lord? Will someone who sees the stands you are taking and the way you are taking them choose you to come talk to when God draws their heart into conversation with him? Please don’t close these doors.
- Do you need more time to think? The seconds it takes to share something may not be a long enough process for your mind and heart to consider the ramifications. Maybe you should commit to wait an hour, during which time you’d be able to pray a little and think through how you want to say it or what you want to say.
I call myself a Christian also, and as a group, we are all affected by the choices of each other. When you take a stand, you are speaking for me also. You are drawing others to Jesus or you are pushing them away. Pray and check your heart. Thank God for your strong convictions, and ask him to show you how and when is the time to express those. And may we be known by our love.