We have been looking at how, as believers, we can interact with social media and use this amazing technology in such a way as to glorify God. We have looked at 8 of the 10 commandments. Let’s finish up today…
The ones we have looked at….
1> Put God first in all you say and post.
2> Love others as you want to be loved.
3> Use social media to facilitate, not replace, real relationships.
4> Use social media instead of being controlled by it as an idol.
5> Turn your virtual other cheek to posts that offend you.
6> Do not post out of emotion.
7> Always reflect Jesus, loving God whether online or off.
8> Do not use social media to fuel temptation.
9> FORM YOUR OWN OPINIONS; DO NOT FOLLOW THE CROWD.
When you follow other people online, you can learn a lot of wisdom from those who are wise. Unfortunately, not only are some people not wise, they can be downright foolish. Proverbs 15:2 says, “The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” I love the way the New Living Translation translates the last part of this verse. It says, “the mouth of a fool belches out foolishness.” Chances are you’ve seen this type pf person let loose online.
Jesus instructs us to stay on the narrow road, warning that the broad or wide road leads to destruction (see Matthew 7:13-14). Sometimes it seems as if everyone is going the same way, but that doesn’t mean they are going the right way. Often on social media, many people jump on the bandwagons of opinions about God, politics, or the latest celebrity scandal. But just because a lot of people believe something doesn’t make it true. Especially when it comes to what people post online.
It may be tempting to follow the crowd, but doing so can be dangerous. Exodus 23:2 says, “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.” God gave you a brain to think for yourself. He gave you His Word to seek His will. He gave you His Spirit to guide you into all truth (see John 16:13). Instead of believing everything you see or hear, think for yourself.
Paul explain the importance of resisting the lure of the crowd when he says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world” (Romans 12:2). Don’t be like everyone else. The Message loosely translates this same verse: “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.” Instead of doing what most everyone else does or believing what many say is true, we should have our minds renewed by God’s truth.
Resist the urge to blend in.
Don’t be a sheep and follow the herd.
Follow the Shepherd.
10> DO NOT BASE YOUR IDENTITY ON WHAT PEOPLE THINK
Anyone who spends time on social media will be tempted to compare, thinking, “How many followers do they have? Wow! That’s way more than I have.” We may also be tempted to think the opposite when we see that someone gets fewer Likes or mentions than we do — that they aren’t as important as we are. An unhealthy view of social media can cause us to feel either an ungodly pride or an unhealthy sense of inadequacy.
Not only can we be tempted to base our identity on who follows us (or by who doesn’t), but we can also allow ourselves to be consumed by what others say. If they Like our new shirt in our latest selfie, we feel great. If they don’t say anything, we might assume they don’t like it. And if they say, “What were u thinking when u bought that UGLY thang?” We might never shop at the same store again.
As Christians, we must constantly remind ourselves not to base our identity — our view of ourselves and our worth — on what other people say or think about us. Who we are and our value is determined by what Christ says about us. Others may criticize us, ignore us, or unfollow us, but that doesn’t affect who we really are. We are who Christ says we are.
In case you’e wondering what He says about you, here’s a short list.
- You are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- You are forgiven, and your sins are washed away (Ephesians 1:7)
- You are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
- You are God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10 NLT)
- You are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)
- You are filled with the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11)
- You are a joint heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)
- You are Christ’s divine representative to this world (2 Corinthians 5:20)
- You are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21)
- You are greatly loved by God (John 14:20-23)
No matter what anyone says or implies, you do not need to be moved by their words. You are secure in Christ and Christ alone. Thou shalt not base your identity on what people think.
So there you have the ten commandments for using social media. It can be tempting to view these like we often view the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses — as burdens that limit what we can and can’t do. But in truth, God’s commandments are supreme blessings that free us to serve Him faithfully and to live joyfully. In the same way, I pray these ten commandments of social media will provide live-giving and life-protecting boundaries that enable you to enjoy relating to others online without losing focus on what matters most.
So post, tweet, click, snap, text, chat, comment, and enjoy it all. But do it all out of the overflow of your love for God and love for people. Use technology, but don’t let it overtake your life. Enjoy the benefits of technology, but don’t let it define you.
Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.