Should I say this? Should I do this? Should I post this? Should I __________? (you fill in the blank). I wonder if we ask ourselves this question enough? Often we say things, do things, and yes even post things within the social media universe before we give little to any thought as to whether we should. This “shooting from the hip” mentality has steadily become more and more of an issue within recent years. We have such a sense of freedom when it comes to what we say and do, especially when it comes to what we let fly out there for all to see. After all, we’ve got freedom of speech, right?
As we look back through just the past 30 years or so, it is easy to notice the avenues of expressing oneself have exploded by leaps and bounds. It’s really quite amazing if you think about it. We’ve gone from being able to communicate with one another from home telephones to cellular phones, from snail mail to email and text messaging. In addition, we also now have a tremendous variety of options to express thoughts and emotions with many, many others through internet mediums such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Marco Polo, YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, and seemingly countless others. We now have the power to express whatever we want in an instant with just a single click. But, should we?
You see, what we all have to understand is that for all who have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, you no longer just speak and represent yourself; but rather you are now a representative of Jesus! The Apostle Paul describes Christians as “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). As ambassadors, how are we doing? Are we representing Him well? I truly believe we don’t often consider this truth before we execute our thoughts and emotions. Instead, we regularly cave into our ambitions and “indulge in the desires of the flesh and of the mind” (Ephesians 2:3).
Christian, we say and show a lot of things through various social media platforms that look an awful lot like the world around us, the world that does not have the life giving hope of Jesus. Please hear me, I am not condemning the use of social media. Quite the contrary actually. What I am saying is that we need to be careful about what we are sharing and strongly considering who we are representing.
When dealing with issues revolving around individual freedoms and liberties, Paul provides a fantastic example to follow when writing to the Corinthian Church in 1 Corinthians 10:23-33. Paul writes in verse 23, “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.” How does this statement apply to what we share and post? Well, I’m glad you asked! Is what we’re floating out there on the internet benefiting others in such a way that it’s pointing our “friends” and “followers” to the God of our salvation? This is exactly the point that Paul is driving home in 1 Corinthians 10:23-33. The truth that we need to firmly grasp is that we are to glorify God in whatever we do (1 Corinthians 10:31) and continue to live in a way that points others to Christ through the way we live our lives and through what we share publically “so that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:33).
Christian, we are called to a higher standard of conduct because of who we now represent and who we now belong to. Let us not only ask ourselves the “should I” question. But also ask, “Does this glorify God?” Paul again so nicely sums up this standard of Christian living in Colossians 3:17 when he writes to the believers in Colossae “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”
Reflect on this last truth; this life we now live is not our own because we have been bought with a price, therefore let us live it out in a fashion that glorifies our awesome God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Grace to you,
Josh Weatherspoon, Minister to Students