I have a love-hate relationship with social media. Love, because it keeps me connected with friends and family, and is a useful tool for communicating information, events, and resources. Hate, because I see the controversy it spikes and the pride it stokes. I love to hate social media; most weeks I threaten to rid of it altogether. And I hate to love social media because of how it fuels the selfish ambition and vanity within my heart.
But everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving—unless, of course, it is inherently evil (1 Tim. 4:4-5). So, if God has given humans the vision to create a tool like social media, God’s Word says that it is good and is not to be rejected—if we can thank God for it.
We can only thank God for what is good, helpful, and honoring to him and others. So, our overarching question is, Can I thank God for social media by embracing it as a good, helpful, and honoring tool?
Two Common Pitfalls
Social media should serve the greatest commandments: to love God and neighbor. It exists for God’s purposes, not our own. Yet, we forget this, and often use it to serve ourselves. When I forget that social media exists for God, not for me, I’m likely to fall into one of two pitfalls:
Rejecting social media. When I love to hate social media,I get aggravated and annoyed by people, so I determine that social media must not be a good tool. I get scared by the pride I see in my heart and the way I’m often tempted to use the tool, so I conclude that social media must not be a good thing. But I forget that God’s purposes for social media are bigger than I can understand. A tough day battling sin does not mean I should reject it altogether—maybe for a time, to test my heart, but not altogether.
Over-spiritualizing social media. Oppositely, when I hate to love social media, I need to be careful that it does not become first priority or replace my interactions with real people in real time. It is not church, and it is not the primary way God has called me to proclaim Christ to others, serve others, or engage with others. Also, social media can be fun. Not everything has to be theological, biblical, or evangelistic. In fact, I’ve heard of people whose friends got annoyed with them because they only posted “God content,” over-spiritualizing everything. Again, there might be an appropriate time to step back and test my heart, rather than plowing ahead with it.
10 Searching Questions
So how do we avoid falling into these pitfalls? How do we discern if we should post something that leads us to thank God for social media? Here are 10 questions to ask…