I have become more active on Facebook and Google+ in a ministry capacity of late, and I have discovered some quite scary facts, which I would like to address here. Most people are on some sort of social media (at least the ones who will be reading this), so I think that this is important to note. I just hope that people will take some action.
One thing that I have noticed in social media, is that people will type things that they would never say face to face. I have been told by someone that they wished I was dead, however talking to them face to face produced nothing but pleasantries. I see so many very angry comments on posts, yet I would imagine that most of those people posting such comments would not say the same thing when standing face to face with the person they commented to. Why is that?
There are 2 possibilities as far as I can see. Either social media makes us angry and brings out the worst in us, or we have ‘limited’ our face to face behaviour for some reason. The first option doesn’t really make sense. Why would social media make us so angry, and if it does, why are we still on it? Granted, we probably don’t hear everyone’s opinion face to face, but we all feel the need to broadcast it on Facebook. This may be why there is more conflict on social media. However, I am referring to people who I know would not say face to face what they type in social media. This must be in the second category.
Looking at the second category, some scripture comes to mind. Now bear in mind that if you are not a Christian, you may have pointed out that I shouldn’t be ‘judging’ you, and you are correct. This is not a judgement, this is merely an observation, and the scripture which I will quote is not relevant to you, so all that I can suggest is that you try and be the same person on social media that you are socially. As for the Christians, if you think that I shouldn’t be ‘judging’ you, go and look up the word judging so that you know what it actually means, and then go and read 1 Corinthians 5:12. I am not saying this in an ‘I told you so’ kind of way, I really want us to understand that us pointing out how other Christians can improve in a loving way is not judging but helping. Read Judgement Day of Golf for more on this.
So, here is the scripture that I was referring to. Matthew 23:25-26 says, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” I know that you may think that this is a bit harsh, but please don’t see it as a reprimand, as there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, see it as an opportunity to change. If we change the inside, there won’t be any anger and hatred to come out on Facebook and Google+. At the moment, we are letting the inside out on social media, but showing the outside when face to face. Maybe because typing it makes it less personal for us, I don’t know, but the bottom line is that it shouldn’t be there. Now I am not suggesting that you merely extend your social filters to social media, I am talking about a serious, authentic, God-enabled change within.
I am a member of various Christian communities on Google+ and just seeing how Christians communicate with each other is very upsetting and quite disturbing actually. Yet I bet we are all super polite in church. This is not how it should be. This is not how we should be. I have been very angry, and said some things on social media that I wouldn’t have said to someone face to face, so this is not a reprimand, but more a commitment from me to change within. I am merely inviting all of you to join me! Let’s change ourselves from the inside, ask God to help us become more like Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit, so that next time someone says something (however stupid) on Facebook, we respond in love instead of anger. Then next time we see some comment that upsets us, let’s take a minute to ask God how He wants us to respond. Let’s post that comment instead of just lashing out in anger in the heat of the moment.
In love, as always.