Written By Blake Andrew Wisz, USA
Most millennials (myself included) take immense pride in sharing their daily lives on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram to display or articulate who they are and what they stand for.
From “liking” a particular band, author, or organization, to “sharing” a news post, we show our endorsement for certain ideas or beliefs, which reinforces who we are to others. Instagram has also become somewhat of a digital diary, capturing not only what we eat, but what we think, since we often post our photographs with a quote, thought, or challenge.
As Christians, what we post online can affect what others think about our faith and our God. Social media can be an amazing tool for the kingdom of God, allowing us to share with all kinds of people our take on culture from a biblical perspective. Through a simple blog post, piece of art or song, we can share what God has taught us or how He has helped us. Who knows, that may be the very thing someone scrolling our newsfeeds needs to hear.
The message of the gospel is the same; the way we share it today, however, is different from Jesus’ time. Everyone can be a part of sharing the gospel online, especially for those of us with social media accounts. It is, after all, our mandate to preach the gospel in our world. (Mark 16:15).
Unfortunately, what I’ve seen a lot of on social media are heated debates between believers and non-believers about the reality of God. This usually arises when we feel that we need to protect our faith. When we are challenged, we feel caught and end up launching attacks on others.
In such times, it’s easy for us to just focus on the differences and opposing views that we have. Rather than using this digital space to speak love, we can become guilty of using words that don’t reflect the heart of a humble believer.
Words are weapons. We can bring a person from the heights of joy to the depths of depression with words alone.
Don’t get me wrong: I know the gospel can be offensive, and its truth is absolute. But I am also a strong proponent of saying what is true in a loving way. And as Christians, we need to work on conveying the truth accurately and lovingly, without getting into arguments.
Perhaps it would be useful to think of the classic line “What Would Jesus Do?” in the following way: “What Would Jesus Post?” Wouldn’t Jesus speak words that heal instead of damage to a person? Wouldn’t He speak life instead of death?
Let’s speak forth words of love and grace, that others may not view us as “enemies,” but be drawn to what we stand for and represent in this messy world. Let’s show the love of God in all the places of our lives, including social media.