When your posts damage the gospel

Posted on August 1, 2016 · Posted in Communication, Social Media

social-media-reach

One of your friends just posted a less than complimentary comment about a politician. You reply back with a similar comment. This touches off a mini-flurry of comments and links that are all centered on the stupidity of anyone even thinking that there may be something good about this person. You sign off with a few emojis thinking it was a good exchange. Is there a problem here? Actually, there is.

The problem comes when interactions on social media are viewed as private exchanges between you and the people you are responding to. But that definitely is not the case. For example, say there were 5 people that participated in the news feed exchange mentioned above. This means that potentially several thousand users might see what you have written. At least some of those people might have a different take on the politician who was roasted, sliced and diced. They figure out that those posting all claim to be Christians. The casual comments made in jest become a negative testimony about Christianity. You won’t have the opportunity to explain your comments and emojis because you have no idea who saw them. This is not a good thing.

In Ephesians 4:29 you are commanded to say only those things that are helpful so that those who hear, or see, your words will benefit from them. The truth is that you and your faith are always on display, especially in the cyber-world of social media. Think carefully about the things you post. A newsfeed post is not like a text or an email where you can identify specific individuals to receive your comments.

Social media is more like going to the middle of the mall or crowded park and taking a bull-horn and just blurting out your personal preferences on anything and everything. Not a good idea!

Post only what is helpful so that those who read may be built up, even the ones you don’t know who might later view what you have written. In so far as it depends on you, make the gospel attractive!

Marry Wisely, Marry Well

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.