By Ted Camp, SWM
Social media has opened new worlds. We are now able to stay in contact with family, up close and personal, and friends though miles and continents apart. Social media has made it possible for our ministry to reach Deaf people worldwide with Bible videos in voice and signs (SigntheBible.org – DeafBibleInstitute.org) Good news: “Anything you want to know or see is on the Internet.” Bad news: “Anything you want to know or see is on the Internet.” When you use the Internet for bad, you can ruin your reputation and mar your ministry. When you use it for good, you can influence and impact others for Christ. 10 guidelines:
- Pause before posting. Think before you text. Once sent, a text can’t be unsent.
- Use caution in calling names. Even an unnamed person will be named by friends. You reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7).
- When in doubt – don’t! It is better to wait than be wrong. What you send will be seen and re-seen by many “friends” causing hurt and harm. Leave it unsent without regrets.
- Be sensible with “selfies.” You could be labeled a narcissistic egotistical person (Prov. 29:23).
- Don’t pretend to be perfect. Don’t be as a pretentious Pharisee when you post (Matt. 23:25). Be truthful (John 21: 24).
- Don’t preach or push preferences. Your post is not a pulpit. At times “friends” may use questionable language and pictures. You can unfriend, but don’t offend. Rebuke privately, not publicly (Matt. 5:23). People respond more to kindness and love (1 Cor. 13:13).
- Have sound safeguards. Be spiritually accountable to yourself, others and God. Don’t misuse or abuse “chat rooms.” Use caution with online friends (especially opposite sex). Count the cost of sin.
- Be careful about open disagreements. Open opinions rarely cause anyone to change. It’s alright to discuss, debate, and disagree, but not divide. It is not who is right but what is right!
- Remember to respond. Personally read, then kindly respond. Post a Bible verse or helpful article.
- Social media should not be self-serving. Avoid using venting, vindictive, and vengeful words (Eph. 4:32). Do not belittle or put down others. It’s never right to be rude!
In closing, remember the greatest testimony to the world (includes social media) is a changed consistent Christian life (2 Cor. 5:17). “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Eccl.9:10), even on social media. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, (also includes social media) do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31). These are godly guidelines.