Have you ever stopped to think that you will give account for every careless post you have made on social media? As Christians, our words matter. The way we speak is a testament to the world of our character.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgement.”Matthew 12:33-36 (NASB)
Anyone who has ever eaten a fresh salad knows that garden spinach or lettuce is unmatched by anything else. They are good plants, producing good things that nourish those who consume them. However, everyone also knows that if they were to reach for a fresh salad of poison ivy, well, they would regret that decision because it is a bad plant, producing bad things that will ultimately destroy them.
Much like these plants, people have the ability to add value and nourish others around them, or to poison or diminish the value of others. As Christians, we are the temple of the living God, and, therefore, we must reflect the goodness that is within us to those around us. Social media offers a window into the lives of hundreds of people at once, giving us the chance to either represent good fruit or bad fruit to the world. So how can we represent Christ on social media? There is a great acronym that can guide us in this answer, being “L.O.W.L.Y.” Let’s break each letter down together through scripture.
Shine your Light.
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.”Philippians 2:14-15 (NASB)
We are called to be the light to the world— a world so full of darkness that we may be the only light that many see. Before we post, react, or share on social media we should ask ourselves, “Am I complaining or arguing? Am I being a light and representing an innocent life?” We don’t have to pretend to be perfect. But we should strive to be encouraging to others and share on social media in a way that no one can criticize or hold anything against you (or screenshot and hold something against you).
Value Others More Than Yourself.
“Do nothing from shelfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves[…]”Philippians 2:3 (NASB)
Jesus took the lowest seat and paid the highest price. He believed that all of us, even as sinners, were more valuable than His own life! If Jesus can elevate the value of others above Himself, then, as His followers, we MUST do the same. So, when on social media, we should ask ourselves, “Who am I trying to impress? Is this humble? Am I putting others or myself first?”
Walk in the Spirit.
“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these… But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control[…]”Galatians 5:19-23 (NASB)
Reading over these verses, you can see there are two kinds of lives that we can live. If we are not walking in the fruit of the spirit, then, we are walking in the sinful nature of the flesh. No one can ever be perfect all of the time, but growth is part of the sanctification process. Being mindful of how we react to others and how we come across is very important. When addressing others in any way, be sure to ask yourself which list your reaction represents. Does what you have to say come across as immoral, impure, or jealous? Does it come from a place of anger? Could it cause division or quarreling? Or are you sharing or responding from a place of goodness, gentleness, and self control?
Speak the Truth in Love.
“[…]but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.”Ephesians 4:15 (NASB)
We are called to speak the truth and, as they say, the truth hurts. But, it doesn’t have to hurt because of harshness or lack of compassion. Instead, if we speak the truth in love, others will be more likely to receive it. We must truly love the people that we reach out to with truth, and value the relationship with them above our differences. Ask yourself, “Am I speaking the truth in condemnation or in love?”
Live With Integrity
“Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation.”1 Peter 2:12 (NASB)
Integrity means being the same person in church, at home, in the workplace, on social media, or anywhere else that we may go. It means being consistent and authentic, because the world is watching. Social media gives us a false sense of division between the real world and our online world, but having integrity means being what God calls you to be, not what the world asks of you. We are to be imitators of Christ. Ask yourself, “Am I being authentic? Am I speaking the way that I would face-to-face? Would I behave or speak this way at church, in front of other Christians?”
In John chapter 8, verses 1-11, we read the story about the woman caught in adultery. The Pharisees brought her to Jesus and reminded Him of what the law said about her offenses. Then, they asked Him, “What do YOU say?” The Pharisees were trying to trap Him to see if He would prove Himself unworthy. Adding a friend on social media offers a cross examination of our character to the person we add. The moment that someone has access to our page, they can scroll through, looking for cracks in our integrity, and searching for the answer of, “What do YOU say?” We have to remain lowly and have enough integrity and authenticity that when we are held up to the light for others to seek flaws to hold against us, all they will see is Jesus in us.
Written by Lili Morris
Did you miss it live? That’s okay!
Watch the full episode of “How to be Christ-like on Social Media” below: