I often wonder if the good parts of social media are worth all of the bad that comes along with it. As a regular Facebook user, I am constantly reminded of the fallen world we are living in; and it sure makes me glad that I am part of a better One.
But that’s what gets me. Often those who claim to be of the Kingdom act more like serfs on their social media than royalty. But before I sound all righteous, I had better say that I have very often done the same thing. I have often been ashamed when I stepped back and looked at my comments, likes, and things I followed.
I wonder if we would simply take Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” and use that as our social media motto verse, how things might change?
I found the following definitions from Clarke’s Commentary for the verse very helpful.
- “Whatsoever things are true – Ὁσα – αληθη· All that is agreeable to unchangeable and eternal truth. Whether that which is to be learned from the nature and state of created things, or that which comes immediately from God by revelation.”
– Do the things we share, follow, and like align with the Greatest Truth- God and His Word?
- “Whatsoever things are honest – Ὁσα σεμνα· Whatever is grave, decent, and venerable. Whatever becomes you as men, as citizens, and as Christians.”
-Do we tend to highlight our lives and pictures in brighter hues and exaggerations than they actually are? What’s the purpose of all the selfies? Are we using our social media to merely promote ourselves? What would Jesus say if He became one of your “followers”? (By the way, Jesus is one of our online followers. He sees every single thing we view, write, and like.) Respect yourselves; don’t stoop to a degrading level which lowers your reputation and safety.
- “Whatsoever things are just – Ὁσα δικαια· Whatsoever is agreeable to justice and righteousness. All that ye owe to God, to your neighbor, and to yourselves.”
-Are we being fair in what we share or are we simply wanting to see one certain side? Do we remember that we are not actually interacting with computers, but living, feeling, thinking human beings? Do we stop to make sure that God, others, and ourselves are being truly respected? Just like a trickle of water can eventually cut through a rock, so can the things we are constantly seeing and reading cut down our convictions and pure hearts and thoughts.
- “Whatsoever things are pure – Ὁσα ἁγνα· Whatsoever is chaste. In reference to the state of the mind, and to the acts of the body.”
-Hmm, do I even need to say anything about this one? 75% of what I see come across my Facebook page would have some problems aligning with this one. Also, remember that what may be appropriate for you as a husband, wife, pregnant mother, or single woman to read may not be appropriate for your young followers to see and read.
- “Whatsoever things are lovely – Ὁσα προσφιλη· Whatsoever is amiable on its own account and on account of its usefulness to others, whether in your conduct or conversation.”
-Is it upbuilding for everyone who may see it? Are our comments ones of blessing or are they always argumentative and grumpy? Yes, sometimes there is a need to speak truth, but there are times when our personal preferences don’t need to be fought out online. Are we unashamed to share God’s loveliness in our posts?
- “Whatsoever things are of good report – Ὁσα ευφημα· Whatsoever things the public agree to acknowledge as useful and profitable to men; such as charitable institutions of every kind, in which genuine Christians should ever take the lead.”
-I’m trying to take time to think before commenting, sharing, liking, and following because I leave a large footprint online in everything I do. There are a wide variety of people who see what we comment, like, follow, and share. Before doing anything online, we should ask ourselves if we would feel comfortable reading aloud that post or showing that picture to our 12 year-old niece, our Sunday-School class, our 75 year-old grandfather, our math teacher, our youth pastor, our mother…. because most likely, they will eventually see it. Be blameless on your social media and live like the Royalty that you are!