The climate in our country is tense right now. Everyone has their opinions, their thoughts, their “side” on many issues. And social media allows us to make them known through our statuses, the pages we “like,” and the things we choose to share on our wall. Thank God for the first amendment, right? We can say how we feel freely!
But Paul, wise and discerning, reminded the Corinthians of his time that, while they had the right to do anything, not everything is beneficial or edifying. Some of the things we see on Facebook and Twitter are the opposite of beneficial or edifying. As Christians, we ought to make this our business and our concern.
So, Christian friends, before we hit “share” on that video/picture/meme/quote, can we ask ourselves these questions?
1.Will it make people angry? If so, will this anger lead them to want to make the world a better place by doing something to end the injustice caused, help the downtrodden, speak up for the weak?
2. Will this make people angry? If so, will this anger further divide them from others by making them say: “I knew I was right! I knew I could not trust/like/believe/understand/help “those” people! Ha! This validates my feelings towards them!”
PLEASE DON’T SHARE!
3. Will this make people happy? If so, will this happiness show them that, while there are real problems in our society, there are people working to fix them and reaching out? Will it make the viewers feel empowered and inspired to do likewise and to have hope that God is still moving?
4. Will this make people happy? If so, will this happiness reaffirm in them the belief that nothing is really wrong, that people are exaggerating their problems, and that if we just share nice things on FB we are part of the solution?
PLEASE DON’T SHARE!
Friends, we can be part of causing more division, inflaming anger in others, moving people towards more distrust of each other, burying issues, and distracting from the solutions in the name of sharing “the other side.” Or we can be part of helping people come together, take steps towards one another and heal.
I’m not telling you not to post this or that. I’m merely inviting you to think through the consequences and motives of your share. Is your attitude one of: “Ha! See?! I knew it! I was right and you were wrong! This shows how bad “they” are!” Then please don’t share it. It may feel good for a moment but it will only make others who agree with you feel the same way and further alienate us towards each other.
This is not my own original thought. Here is Paul on the matter: “So then, let us pursue what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (Romans 14:19).
This is not a call to blindly agree or not discuss opposing views. To have progress we must sit together and discuss our differing perspectives. It is a call to think twice about the purpose, reaction, and reason behind the video/meme/quote/picture we are about to share. Will it bring more strife or build the peace? Will it edify or destroy? Is it the best way to engage others in this conversation?
When we choose to share something on social media we are choosing to create a moment to heal or a moment to dig a deeper wound.
Let’s always choose the path to help rather than to harm.