Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so forth are great ways to connect with people, share news about yourself, and most importantly, to spread the Gospel. “Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people” (Psalm 96:3). As of July 2016, there were 1.71 billion Facebook users with active accounts worldwide, which shows how social media can make it easier to reach more people in a short amount of time. The main objective of all Christians who have social media accounts should be to show the love of God, however, this is not always the case with everyone. Some who have Facebook and other social media accounts use the internet space given to them to promote sinful acts and ideas, either intentionally or unintentionally. We should always remember that whatever we post online is a reflection to others about who we are and what we stand for. It is good to use social media to spread good news about family, friends, and other events, as well as teaching others about Christ. It is not good, however, to promote sinful acts, which can influence others to do the same. In this article, I will list several examples of posts that a person should not post on social media and the reasons for not doing so.
1. Posts that include cursing or any other inappropriate language. We need to be sure that all of our words are good, and that we show Christ through our speech. “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29). When either posting our thoughts on certain issues, or sharing an article or saying what we like, we must always be sure that these items do not have any curse words or any inappropriate language or subject matter. We harm our reputation by using foul words and referencing inappropriate subjects online. We should also make sure that the source of shared material does not have foul or inappropriate language in its title or anywhere else in it as well. I’ve seen shared material that was clean, but the source of the shared material which is listed above the post has a bad word or inappropriate message in it. In either case, we should always make sure that EVERYTHING we show online is clean.
2. Posts that reference drugs, including alcohol or any other drugs. When people choose to pursue pleasure by taking drugs or drinking alcohol, which is a drug, this goes directly against the Bible’s teachings. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (I Corinthians 6:19). This also includes what is termed “social drinking” and tobacco use as well. If we are taught to protect our bodies and abstain from drunkenness, then we should not influence others to do these things. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1). Even if it is meant to be a joke, showing images of drugs or alcoholic beverages, or talking about using these things is wrong!
3. Inappropriate jokes or making fun of someone else. No one, no matter how famous they are, likes to be ridiculed, especially in public. In this election season, I have seen so many posts that make fun of various political figures. Some stoop so low as to make cruel jokes about their physical features. If you do not agree with a politician’s stance on something, then focus on that rather than make irrelevant jokes about how they look, dress, etc. Also, making fun of others is not right either. We should always treat others, even people we do not know personally, as we would want to be treated ourselves. Jesus was never seen ridiculing anyone while He was here on the earth. We should ever strive to be more like Him. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). Also, making rude or “dirty” jokes about something or another person shows others that we have a perverted mind. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (I John 2:16). We should guard ourselves from falling into the trap of causing others or ourselves to commit the sin of lust.
Part 2 of this article will be available to read on this blog next week!