Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.”
With the rise of the internet and global communication, we now have access to more information than we can process. The accuracy of the information cannot always be verified.
Wikipedia allows for sources to post information first without vetting the information. It even carries its own disclaimer that the information contained within is not accurate and should not be taken as true.
Social media has exploded over the years, and many of God’s children are taken by its ease of use and connections it can provide. Personally, I have been able to reconnect with high school classmates when gathering for our fortieth-year reunion.
On the flip side, as a director for a faith-based addictions program, I have seen saved people post their feelings, meals, likes, dislikes, sinful actions, and rants to the place they have tarnished their testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Businesses have added to their interview vetting process by adding a check of the applicant’s social media usage and communication. A good interview can be destroyed in a moment by a political or personal rant that may leave the reader questioning one’s motives.
Simply, there are assets and liabilities to its use.
Our passage this morning continues as Paul admonishes the church at Ephesus:
Ephesians 4:30-32 “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Many of the social media platforms are infested with every type of wickedness. You may look at a cute video of your family’s last get-together, and it is followed by someone’s post of sinful depravity.
You did not choose it, but there it is.
You cannot unsee things once they come across our screens.
Satan is slick. He doesn’t have to show hardcore pornography to get you to fall. He just tantalizes and teases our flesh to draw us away from holiness.
The pathway to sin starts slowly and seemingly innocent.
James 1:13-15 “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
We are tempted, drawn away, and enticed by the things around us. The internet and social media provide one-click access to just about every sinful act.
We are given tools to provide barriers, so we limit our exposure. Those in bondage to certain sins can use a program to provide accountability to some extent. But as with all things, our enemy reveals ways around the barriers to finding what it is our flesh craves.
Christians today need to operate by biblical principles.
Our thought process or our ‘meditator’ needs to have a biblical filter.
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
If what we seek does not fit through God’s filter, we must decide not let it pass before our eyes.
We try to justify our usage of social media.
Personally, I have three uses for the social media on which I post.
- To post Daily Manna to be an encouragement to God’s people and win souls to Christ.
- To keep up with my family by viewing posts about their activities. (Especially grandkids!)
- To track the activity of the students in my addiction program to better minister to their needs.
The first two provide safety and security to a large degree. I have some unsaved family members, and I limit my views of their posts for that reason.
The third use tracks the activity of some who may still be in bondage to one sin or another. It may not be a picture, but a post worded so that they may be struggling with their addiction or contemplating taking their life.
Some may post about events that could lead to depression, or they may have been offended and need to be gently guided back to the sheepfold.
It doesn’t matter who you are; people are watching your life and how you live it. Every word or picture posted, every action taken, are all out there for all to see. Once you post it, it becomes a public record.
That record reflects on our testimony and ultimately on our Savior.
Before we hit the “post” button, can we honestly say that this will help the cause of Christ? Or will it reflect poorly on Him, your church, or your ability to win souls to Him?
If emotions are running high, stay off the internet and social media. I have read far too many rants by saved people who are hurt and trying to hurt others with a post that will get back at the one who hurt them.
Two biblical principles need to be practiced.
One, God will right the situation. Our vengeance or thirst for justice will not be satisfied by taking matters into our own hands.
Romans 12:18-19 “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.”
Secondly, if the offender is a brother or sister in Christ, you must seek them out to make it right. Paul wrote to the church in Galatia to give them a path to restoration.
Galatians 6:1 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
Ephesians tells us:
Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Especially those close to us.
Galatians 6:10 “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”
If every child of God would slow down their minds and put what they desire to post through God’s filter, we would post less but honor our Savior in the process.
We do not need to call out sinners. Speaking the truth in love will convict enough and draw them unto God. We are commanded to lift Him up. In so doing, we allow Him to draw all men unto Himself.
John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
I have heard a preacher once say, “Get off of Facebook and get your face in His Book!”
We are just ambassadors here representing our Lord and Savior. May we carry out our duty in such a manner as to honor the One who commissioned us to do so. Then, we can reap the eternal rewards as lost sinners are brought to the foot of the cross to be saved.