Now I’m in Facebook, I Must Be Extra Careful: Biblical Conduct in the World of Social Media
Yes, it’s true. After quite some time, after rejecting my friends’ persuasion, after much consideration, I’m finally in Facebook.
While I wasn’t yet a member of Facebook, friends often tell me their out-of-control use of this social networking site. They have become what I call Facebook addicts. And I have heard of countless stories of it. Now I’m in Facebook, I must be extra careful. Else, I might end up like them, spending time unwisely and unproductively online.
If you and I aren’t careful, we may find ourselves helplessly lost in the world of social media. So the question is, How do we overcome it?
There are four questions, grounded in biblical principles, that we may take into consideration whenever we use any form social media. I find them helpful. I hope you do as well.
1. Are we making wise use of our time? Most of the times, we get so caught up with Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other forms of social media, to the neglect of much important things. These include time with the family and with friends, and ultimately our personal time of fellowship with the Lord. The Bible tells us to make wise (best) use of our time. Ephesians 5:15-16 says:
15Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. (emphasis added)
Some more questions that we need to ask ourselves: How much time, on average, do we spend in front of the computer (for leisure purposes)? Are we still devoting time in studying the Scripture, and in praying for others, and in engaging in face-to-face conversations, and immersing into life-to-life relationships? Are there any other chores or responsibilities that needs to be done first? Are there any ways we can be productive without using social media? (These include reading books and playing sports).
2. Are we building up (edifying) one another? We must ensure that everything we do in the world of social media should build up, or edify, the believers. Hebrews 10:24 says:
24And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.
Does every status, photo, link, or video we share in Facebook “stir up one another to love and good works?” Or does every Tweet we tweet? Or every blog we write?
3. Are we glorifying God and expanding His kingdom? A few days ago, I was so eager to increase my base of friends in Facebook. So I spent time adding friends and sending friend requests. I thought that if I can have a strong base of friends in Facebook, then I can link them here to my blog. That means increased readership!
But when I was searching for friends in Facebook, I have to ask myself, “Why am I doing this? Am I really doing it for the glory of God and the expansion of His kingdom? Or am I just after my own fame and the advancement of my own kingdom?” I have to watch my intentions.
First Corinthians 10:31 tells us:
31So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (emphasis added)
And that includes Facebook and other forms of social media.
4. Are we setting others an example? I lead my own small group of young college men and I want to lead them to Christ-centered lives. If I tell them to make wise use of time and be discerning about the right priorities, but I myself have become undisciplined in my use of social media, then how in the world can I expect them to be good time managers? First Timothy 4:12 urges us to,
12Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.
So in the use of our time and in the words we say in the world of social media, let’s win believers by our examples, unto the glory of God.
About Enzo CortesEnzo Cortes is the Youth Coordinator of Jzone Makati, the youth ministry of Christ's Commission Fellowship (CCF) Makati. He also speaks for various youth and young adult groups, including CCF Makati's young singles ministry, Friday Night Light. He loves to write, read books and blogs, drink coffee, and watch MMA fights.
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