A new poll found that the majority of Americans believe social media is tearing the nation apart. So what can you do as a Christian to stay positive, bring people together and stem the tide of division? Here’s what the Bible says!
These days, one of the biggest challenges of social media is trying not to let something someone has said trigger you. This is not a problem for Christians alone, by any means, despite the fact that they are often the target of insults.
Almost two-thirds of American adults said they believe that platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are at fault for the growing divide in the nation, according to the latest national poll by NBC. Conversely, only 27 percent of respondents believed social media brings us together. In the poll, 66 percent of Americans admitted to using social media once or more times per day, while 33 percent said they did not.
So if social media is tearing us apart… what can you do to be part of the solution and not the problem?
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
– Ephesians 4:29
Simply living in the world these days makes maintaining a Christian walk with God challenging. But a stroll through social media can be like walking through a minefield sometimes. After all, we’re all only human. A Christian can be triggered by an insult as easily as anyone else. But to the Christian, it’s the response that should matter and make the difference.
Although it sounds like a simplistic statement, we always need to ask ourselves: What would Jesus do? What would Jesus think?
Here are some recommendations for staying Christ-like on social media, with the Scriptures as a guide.
“Let them turn the other cheek to those who strike them and accept the insults of their enemies.”
– Lamentations 3:30
The above verse is a statement of patience. Jesus made a similar statement:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.”
– Matthew 5:39
Jesus’ statement above is that we do not have to strike back when someone insults us. There’s a reason for that…
“Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but leave room for God’s wrath. For it is written: “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, says the Lord.”
For the Christian, we need to leave revenge and judgment to God if there is any that is necessary. We really have nothing to gain by engaging in battles on social media and trying to get revenge over something someone has said to us, especially if we use insults to do so. Just because they insulted us first, does not make it right for us to engage in similar actions. We do not have to return evil for evil, that is, sin for sin. We do not have to seek revenge. When we do that – how are we any better than those who insult us?
“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,”
The spirit of God is love and forgiveness. We can do both by not striking back at those who insult us, not returning insult for insult.
When someone else tries to use words to harm us, all we have to do is remember that the only power their words have is the power that we ourselves give them. What does that mean? It means simply this: If we don’t believe their words are true, then their words hold no truth for us. If we believe their words don’t define us, then they do not.
When we “believe” someone’s words and give them the power to make us feel harmed, that’s exactly what their words can do. However, when we refuse to take “ownership” of someone else’s words, then those words reside with the speaker. If we refuse to take possession of them, then they hold no power over us nor do they enact any kind of reality in our lives. Their words are dust that fall to the ground, powerless.
“The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Before you speak, think about what Jesus might say. Remember that Jesus told us not to judge others, but rather be forgiving.
Almost always, we can find something good to say, it just takes a little forethought and effort.
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
– Colossians 4:6
The Bible tells us that we are defined by our words. We’ve all seen people who claim to be religious, but their words seem to give a different impression.
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”
– James 1:26
Do you ever think about how others perceive you based on the things you say? Have you ever thought about what kind of impression you are giving other people about you on social media?
Actually, there’s a higher source we need to be concerned about when it comes to how we are perceived by our words.
“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”