Since I began this series on God’s peace beyond understanding, I have both anticipated and dreaded this particular post. If I’m being honest, it was social media that first inspired this series. Our culture is most certainly at war… one that is readily seen online. We fight battles each and every day from the comfort of our own homes and often anonymously. Is it even possible to keep peace on social media?
I wish I could say that I only saw this sort of thing from those who don’t claim Christianity. But unfortunately, I can’t. In fact, some of the cruelest things I’ve seen online come from those who subscribe to a faith that is supposed to be based on God’s love… a faith that should be known for its morals and integrity.
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Social media is a wonderful tool. We can communicate in a way we never dreamed possible. I can keep in touch with those who are far away, see pictures and videos of my nieces and nephew, and keep up on the latest news and trends. But social media has a built-in flaw… anyone can post nearly anything at any time… often with little to no consequences. We can be mean, slander those who disagree with our viewpoints, post our opinions on every major and minor topic, and spread news stories that offer very little in the way of credibility.
This has caused many to question the use of social media altogether.
I am a firm believer in not “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” In other words, while social media can be damaging, it can also be a good thing if used appropriately and sensibly. There is indeed a good side to social media. I have been a part of online communities where my faith has grown, and I have seen people unite together in prayer. Many of my favorite Bible teachers and theologians also share daily online. And there have been numerous occasions when I have been very thankful for the ability to spread news quickly.
So how can we keep peace on social media and use it for good?
- Represent your King well. Never forget that EVERYTHING you do represents Jesus… that includes everything you say and do online.
- Know when to keep your mouth shut and your heart open. This is perhaps the hardest part about social media. Everyone has an opinion, and it’s easy to get caught up in expressing your own. While there is certainly a time and place to share your feelings on a particular issue, more often than not, that time and place is not a Facebook comment section. Sometimes it’s best to walk in love and keep your comment to yourself.
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. – Ephesians 4:29
- Remember your call to spread Good News. Our culture is in the habit of sharing bad news… news that inspires people to live in fear rather than hope. But we are called to something entirely counter-cultural. I absolutely love the fact that Jesus called the Gospel message “Good News.” After all, it is the best news possible!
- Enjoy the good. As I said before, social media can be a wonderful tool… if we’re wise in how we use it. Enjoy it! Keep in touch with friends and family and share the love of Jesus with the world!
Peace on social media is only achieved when we remember that in all things we represent our King.
We need to be careful as children of God not to misrepresent our Father. He is not a God of slander or disunity, but a God of love, joy, and peace beyond all understanding.
Click here to read more from our 31 Days of Peace Beyond Understanding series!
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.