When Mark Zuckerberg offered us a new way for the world to socialize, It’s likely he wasn’t anticipating that his online book of faces was going to have the impact that it did. It’s also likely that he wasn’t anticipating how his new platform would affect believers in the body of Christ, but affect it did, and not always for the better. Granted, Facebook has opened many doors for the gospel to be shared with people who might have otherwise never heard it before, and this is truly a blessing, but another consequence that might have caught Christians off guard, is that it’s provided a new, and very convenient avenue for many of us to do exactly what the Bible tells us not to do. Scripture tells us that followers of Jesus should:
“Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil” (2 Tim. 2:23-24)
However, in the secrecy of our online life, we find it very easy to engage in these behaviors. People don’t often stop to think or pray before they voice the first emotion they feel after watching the news, viewing some viral video or reading someone’s controversial post, and this isn’t healthy. The Bible tells us that the tongue is a “world of unrighteousness” that “stains the body” and “sets the course of our life (on fire)” (James 3:6). In other words, our tongues have the capability to manifest the sin that’s in our hearts and produce visible damage in our lives. And make no mistake, just because it’s not our physical tongue doing the talking online, the same principle applies. In fact, in this day and age it seems that the Biblical principle of guarding our “tongues” would apply even more.
So here’s a thought, why don’t we pray before we post? Why don’t we ask ourselves if what’s coming out of our “mouth” is going to cause strife or build others up in love. Sharing the gospel is good and teaching others about a Biblical worldview is definitely good, but if our hearts aren’t in the right place when we share our thoughts with the public, we can actually do more damage than good. Let’s always ask if our online habits are self-centered, or Christ centered, pleasing to God or pleasing to the flesh, otherwise online may not be the best place for us to be.