Social media has taken root in the lives of many. While there are many benefits to it, its drawbacks are rapidly overtaking any positive results and effects of them. We expect to come across bullying, slander, threats, and all things malicious in the world of the Lost, but when we come across Christians partaking of all that is wrong with social media, then something is wrong.
I once believed (naively so), that Christians would not bash each other on social media. Imagine my dismay when I was, to put it simply, attacked by one who professed to be a Believer. My eyes were abruptly opened then, and the rose-tinted glasses that I used to wear were ripped off with great force. It’s funny how once you see something, you cannot ‘unsee’ it. Furthermore, you start to see it everywhere. If you were to put a Christian and an Unsaved in a boxing ring of words, there is no telling who would win. This goes against everything that we stand for and believe in our faith, and it’s really sad to see.
Jesus gave us many teachings were are to live by. One of the most important ones and a commandment at that was to love your neighbor as yourself. If we do not understand what love is, then we go to 1 Corinthians 13. Everything that we do as Believers should be done in love, and while I do understand that we do not get it right all the time, we do have to make the effort to think before we speak or rather think before we type scathing remarks. We have to remember that what comes out of our mouths (whether spoken or written) is an indication of what condition our hearts are in. We are not doing ourselves or others any favors by negatively commenting on their posts- even if they are wrong. Remember when Jesus said that he who has no sin should throw the first rock? That woman was caught in sin and by law should have been stoned (could this have included the men that she sinned with?), but she wasn’t because those people didn’t have a leg to stand on. And there was our Jesus- the most kindest and loving Man that ever walked the earth- crouching on the ground, writing who knows what in the dust, and being completely calm about the energy-charged atmosphere. One by one, they all turned away until Jesus was the only one left. And what did He say? He said that he wouldn’t condemn her and that she should sin no more. The only One that had never sinned in His entire life would not pick up a stone to kill the woman. Why do we believe that it is acceptable to attack people on social media? We attack their faith, their ‘holiness’, their level of knowledge of the Bible, their pictures, comments… the list is endless.
I completely understand that at times, Believers post things that are inappropriate or inaccurate (concerning GOD’S Word). Some of them aren’t even true Believers, but wolves in sheep’s clothing, looking to stir some things up, and many Christians take the bait. Before we know it, we’re in a bitter war of words and it just gets out of hand. We sit behind our screens (many people hide their identities with made up names and ‘anonymous’) and create these words that cut into people, anger people, shame people and even lead people to take their own lives. How do we know that our comment wasn’t the cherry on the death cake of someone’s downward spiral to suicide? We only see what is on our screens, but we know nothing of the person behind the post. And there is absolutely no use in saying ‘well, that person should not have posted that in the first place!’ because it doesn’t work with Jesus. We will be giving an account of our own lives to GOD- ‘that person did this, so I did/said this’ is not going to cut it with the Almighty. You are responsible for your own words and actions.
There is a way to lovingly correct someone, and there is a way to tear them down and attack them. We have the latter one down pat, but we lack the ability to lovingly correct each other. I find that people who are mature in faith and truly understand that love is the way to go when correcting a fellow brother or sister in Christ, will either refrain from commenting at all and rather pray for the person, or will choose their words very carefully and give the truth. Yes, some people will still see the loving correction as an attack and get mad, but that is only their conscience talking. You are not condoning anything by refusing to leave a comment, but if you do believe that you should say something in response to someone, then please choose your words carefully and make sure that it is Scripturally based. Don’t comment in an attempt to ‘be right’, ‘school this person’, or even to prove how much more of a Christian you are than the next person.
Do everything knowing that the Holy Spirit is right there and is a witness to all that you do. If you find that you cannot (or will not) control your hand on that keyboard when it comes to commenting, then get off social media and immerse yourself in GOD’S Word until you can better control your impulses. Let’s be true ambassadors of Christ and control our tongues.
(Although my words are stern and straightforward, they were written in love and a need to bring to attention a part of our lives that we have neglected. By no means am I perfect or always right, but GOD’S Word is always true and never changes.)