There was a time when, in order to contact someone and tell them your latest family news, you had to pick up a phone and give them a call, send them an email, or even *gasp* write them a letter! Today, we can simply log on to Facebook and not only announce to our friends and family our news, but pretty much tell the whole world. In less than a few seconds we can post on Facebook anywhere, anytime. This is pretty cool technology. On the other hand, it is disturbing and can be harmful to our Christian testimony as well and here’s why.
I recently read the article Should Christians Be on Facebook? by R.C. Sproul, Jr. He posed some really valid questions every Christian should ask themselves when they use Facebook. His first question: “Has it become a god?” Anything can be used to replace God in our lives: food, TV, books, and yes, even Facebook. If we, (I’ve been guilty of this), spend more time on Facebook than in God’s Word, it has become a god. Also, I would go so far as to say if it provides more comfort to us than prayer, it has become a god. I John 5:21 “Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.”
Another question he asked was, “Is Facebook giving me the peace of the Lord, or agitating me?” Good food for thought there. I don’t know how many times I’ve gone on Facebook and have seen a post that was inappropriate, such as a foul joke, video, or even just someone who had posted a status update with every imaginable foul word in it. Some posts have disturbed me so much that it literally ruins my peace for the day. Sure, I can hide that person’s post, but the image still remains in my head.
Not only that, but how many posts have I seen from people where they are complaining about their job, their friends, their day, and even their children. It’s like they have drawn back the curtains in their home and are letting everyone see what goes on inside. Without even trying, I can watch friends fight with each other on Facebook. I can watch marriages slowly be destroyed as spouses post about their fights. I can even see the most disturbing raw emotions of people as they post about their bad day. All of this disturbs my peace.
How many times, though, have I been guilty of this? How many times have I posted about something that has made me angry? The issue is that I’m using Facebook to solve my problems and not going to the Lord with them. In this case, not only have I used Facebook to disturb my own peace and the peace of others, but I’ve also created an idol to which I take my problems too instead of taking them to the Lord.
R.C. Sproul, Jr. poses a lot of other good questions and I encourage you to take a look at his article. One question that you and I should ask ourselves when we use Facebook is this: “What is my Christian testimony on Facebook?” Is my testimony online pleasing to the Lord or is it tarnishing His name? If you don’t think your testimony matters on Facebook, you are wrong. Your testimony is just as important online as it is at a restaurant or with your church.
What you post reflects what is in your heart. If you or I post something mean about someone else, if we post a joke or video that is foul, if we express our anger out toward someone then we are showing the world our tarnished testimony. How many times have I “liked” something that was questionable, how many times have I posted pictures of myself that were innocent, but I posted them to impress or show off to people? Even simply spending time on Facebook when I know I have work to do can be sinful.
How many people have I caused to stumble in their walk with God by what I have posted on Facebook? What harm have I caused to someone who does not know the Lord or who is a new Christian by what I have said on Facebook? Does my Facebook page promote the Lord or is it just promoting me? I can use my Facebook page to glorify the Lord or I can use it to bring all the glory to myself. That is why our testimony is important online.
This article is rather lengthy, but it has been on my heart and mind for a while. The truth is I struggled not to make this an article where I griped about others on Facebook, but an article about our Christian testimony. My struggle was coming to the realization that I am just as guilty about what I post and what I say on Facebook. It has caused me to realize that I need to watch out for my own testimony and has reminded me several times of where I have failed.
I pose this challenge to myself and to others who read this article. I’m not asking you to close down your Facebook account, but just for a month, starting now, only post things that are encouraging, loving, and just for a month, post things that aren’t about you. Let’s see if we can use our Facebook pages to show God’s glory and love and stop making it about us.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
…and post them on Facebook!
Written By: Little Kristy