What would Jesus tweet? Is your social media behavior becoming of a Christian or nah?
Article By Kristin Wells // EEW Magazine // Social Media + Christian Conduct
Repudiating, criticizing, and shaming folks on social media is par for the course nowadays. Almost everyone seems to do it.
But as Christians, can we just for a moment acknowledge that doing such things goes against the kind of behavior Scripture prescribes? Would Jesus tweet that?
Just as our lives and words offline should be used for good, so too should our tweets and other social media posts. While there are no hard and fast rules of social media etiquette, you should always ensure that your behavior is becoming of a Christian.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind.
#1 Mean-spirited jokes about others hurt: A pastor once went viral for recording a woman stuck in her motorized wheelchair in subzero temperatures. He later apologized for the horribly insensitive post that eventually got back to the woman. But it was too late. The damage was done. Listen, real people have real feelings, and they should not be used for cheap laughter. Do you think God is pleased when we diminish and mock others?
#2 Your faith should be reflected in your feed: Being a follower of Jesus Christ means His nature and character should shine through what you say on the Internet. Would someone know that you know Jesus by reading your social media feed, or would they have to wonder? While your faith doesn’t necessarily have to be the focus of every post, regardless of the post’s focus, you must never lose focus on the tenets of your faith.
#3 Love wins souls. Don’t you know social media is a highly effective tool for winning souls to the kingdom of God? Is your feed drawing them or driving them away? Scripture tells us people are drawn to Christ because of love and kindness (Jeremiah 31:3). So be prayerful and careful of the words, images, and videos you send out. Ask God to lead you and help you be an even more loving and effective witness for Him.
#4 What you say reveals your character: What you choose to post on social media is a reflection of who you are. Why would you want to mischaracterize yourself? Are you overly harsh in your commentary? Are your cultural, political, and entertainment critiques useful, well thought out, and helpful—or just mean, ugly, and critical? When you constantly share negativity, talk down to people, lash out, or make crude jokes, it shows the true condition of your heart. Jesus said what goes into a person isn’t what defiles them; what comes out of them is what corrupts that individual (Mark 7:15). If your feed is full of toxicity, pray David’s Psalm 51:10 prayer, and ask God to give you a clean heart.
#5 Know that God is always watching: No one can make you take the high road online. It’s your social media feed, and you can honestly say what you want. But if you truly are a committed follower of Christ, you should be mindful that God is watching. He is the One you should strive to please by displaying His attributes for the world to see. If you are working to build His Kingdom, what you say and do should be an asset, not a liability to the Lord’s work. Ask yourself, is God pleased with me? That’s what matters most.
Being a Christian on social media isn't about being "deep" so-to-speak and lacking humor. However, always be sure what you share, say, and even laugh at, doesn't grieve the heart of God or undermine your Christian witness.