Have you ever scrolled through your news feed on Facebook or the tweets from people you follow and seen some activity that shocked you? If you're like me, this probably happens all the time. As you scroll through, you may even be thinking to yourself things like:
“What? They actually posted that?”
“How could they ‘like’ that page?”
“So-and-so just re-tweeted this! I can’t believe he would do that.”
I have caught myself thinking things like this many, many times. It is shocking when someone reveals they are not what you thought they were simply by their activity on social media. You will not be able to think of them the way you did before seeing that. Their whole persona has changed in your eyes because of something they clicked, or shared, or hashtagged.
But it works both ways, does it not? If you see what they “like,” they see what you “like.”
When I thought about that for a minute, it scared me. I first activated my Facebook account when I was around fifteen years old and definitely not a Christian, though I did my best to pretend. I looked back in my “information,” at the things that I “liked” in those early days and, sure enough, there were some embarrassing “likes.” I quickly “un-liked” them, because we all know how people Facebook stalk.
This got me thinking about the difference between who I am now on Facebook and who I was when I was an unregenerate fifteen-year-old. What does my activity on social media say about me to those who “follow” me? More importantly, what does it say about the God I claim to dedicate my life to?
God is the God of your Facebook
When you say you are a Christian, you are telling the world you are a slave of God (Romans 6:18). To use modern lingo, you are sold out for Jesus. You are identifying with everything the Scriptures say about Christians, claiming what God says is true of His children is also true of you.
Romans 6:19 says, “For just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.”
“Members” means anything connected to, or associated with, you. This covers everything from your thoughts to your body, possessions, and social media activity. Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., are all your “members.”
Your social media life, whatever form it may take, should be presented as a “slave of righteousness” if you claim to be a Christian. If your social media activity does not line up with your claim to be a Christian, you are both damaging the reputation of God and taking His Name in vain (Exodus 20:7).
Time to clean up
While your activity today might be very clean and biblical, it is always a good idea to review your social media history and cull anything that might throw a shadow on your Christian witness. I had to delete several things, even some things that were not bad, but could cause questions or raise eyebrows.
For example, there was a page I “liked” a while ago whose name was something along the lines of “Right Wing Extremists.” I “un-liked” it, not because I do not identify politically as a right-winger, but because I felt convicted that it was not worth parading in front of lost people who need my Christ and not my conservatism. I had to choose my hills to die on.
You should not stop at cleaning up your past record, but also keep an eye on how you interact with social media on a daily basis. Think before you “like,” comment, or share. Ask, “Does this activity build up or tear down the reputation of Christ?” Would you be comfortable if Jesus Himself scrolled through your activity? Jon Bloom wrote a helpful piece on this on the Desiring God blog:
“In the end, the best thing we can all do is remember that everything we do on the Internet is public, and if we claim to be Christian we are carrying the reputation of Christ in everything we do. Our witness will shine all the brighter when our actions match our message.”