Can Christians utilize social media in a way that is pleasing and wholesome? Perhaps there is an existing model of this pleasing and wholesome lifestyle on social media. There are three common examples of Christian social media-users I have found on the majority of social media platforms. Let’s call these users eye openers, word readers, and hardy jokesters.
The eye openers pride themselves on having the job of informing the less-enlightened masses. They are focused on the world’s social problems (or rather only North America’s) and are more than happy to share their knowledge. They know how the world should run, and what would make it pleasing to both them and the LORD. To their credit, they do follow Jesus’ commandment to advocate for the poor and less fortunate. Their posts primarily center around advocating rights for immigrants and the homeless, promoting LGBT awareness, demanding equality for women and holding contempt for anyone who refuses to treat these people the same way. Unfortunately, seeing a barrage of these posts places viewers in a guilt trip. Whether viewers are guilty of disrespect or idle carelessness, the eye opener still wants them to feel ashamed. Even if the viewer does all the things the eye opener desires, the eye opener argues that the viewer is not doing nearly enough. This, however, disobeys Jesus’ commandment: eye openers are like the brother with a hideous log in their own eye, foolishly removing a minuscule speck from their brother’s eye (Matthew 7:3).
The word readers post only Bible verses, usually on cloudy landscapes or sunset beaches, and status updates on their current spiritual journey. They appear to delight in the word of the LORD, and keep themselves accountable for all the times they have strayed from it. An outsider’s perspective may interpret their posts as claiming they are on a higher level of spirituality than others. This is not always the case, as some people truly want to be held accountable for their actions, and have resolved to post one Bible verse a day, as a way of keeping their mind focused on Scripture. A person becomes a word reader when they only read the scriptures, drown out other posts people send them, and post their spiritual status for the sake of being followed. They fall into the trap of believing their faith is greater than the faith of others. Their prayers are not stronger or more important to God than those who shudder to mention their spirituality (Luke 18:9-14).
The hardy jokesters appreciate good Christian memes and post them on a regular basis. In a conversation, they may respond with a silly picture of Larry the Cucumber. They measure churches by their sense of humor. Any character or event in the Bible can be exploited for a joke. While these users posts with the intent to please their viewers, they do so with neglect for God’s Holy Word. Hardy jokesters are not above getting cheap laughs, even if they have to resort to foul language and underhanded insults. These people disobey God’s commandments to treat the Scriptures as sacred. They also use their words recklessly, and do not care who they may hurt or discourage (Proverbs 12:18).
It is clear these three common examples from social media are not honorable ways of using social media. A combination of all three could be used to please the LORD. A post that advocates for the weary and backs up its reasoning with scripture, but is written with the intent of bringing joy and good news to viewers would be an excellent way of using social media. The best way to post on social media is to treat it as any other aspect of the Christian lifestyle. All of a Christian’s actions should be done in a manner that does not conform to the world, but one that follows God’s “pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).