Happy Friday Everyone! I hope you had a great week and you feel refreshed and excited heading into the long weekend..
Before I dive into today’s blog post, I want to say that I always strive to keep my content encouraging and positive. Because we really need that when negativity can surround us so easily in today’s society.
But in today’s blog post, I felt compelled to discuss the topic of social media and the influence it can have on our lives, especially our faith walks. I am going to discuss the positives of social media and the negatives it can cause as well.
With where we are today with social media, as such a strong influence on our lives, I think it is important to examine our personal relationship with social media and step back and ask ourselves some important questions and examine our hearts, so we always stay aligned with God and how He wants us to live our lives.
Definition of Social Media: websites and applications that allow users to create and share content or participate in social networking with others.
Social media seems to be in full force in today’s world. It has a strong hold on millions around the globe. We have come to a point in our society where it is rare if you do not have a social media account or several accounts even. It shapes how we think, act, and feel a lot of the time throughout our days.
Social media has the ability to affect people’s emotions, in various ways and it happens everyday. There are positives and negatives to using social media accounts and today, I want to discuss both sides of the spectrum.
The Positives that come from Social Media and How it Affects Our Faith Walks:
Social media can be a very positive force and we have opportunities in the present time that a lot of people did not have fifteen years ago.
We are able to Connect with Others: It is an awesome thing to connect with others, and without social media, we would not have the opportunity to do so otherwise. Making new friends, by connecting over similar personalities or interests, is fun and exciting. We are not confined to just our own towns anymore. We can also influence others if they are in need of encouragement in their lives, even if we do not know them personally or in our presence physically. Our fellowship can expand beyond the walls of our day to day lives.
Filling your feeds with Godly Leaders: Back in the day, we could go to church every week and read books, which is all great, but today with social media, it can add a new layer to our faith. We have an opportunity to read/watch sermons from many different pastors; from many different states. We can be challenged in our faith and broaden our current viewpoints by following Godly leaders and see how other churches are preaching the Word.
When we are having a bad day or going through a rough season, we have a tool that can fill us up and encourage us anywhere we are, because social media is at our fingertips. Filling our feeds with positive, Godly people, can be refreshing and encouraging, in a world where it is easy to become discouraged. Scrolling through bible verses, scripture, and quotes, can ease our bad day and set our eyes on what is most important through difficult circumstances: Jesus.
The Negatives that come from Social Media and How it Affects Our Faith Walks:
Comparison: I want to start with a word and issue that everybody deals with and has dealt with in their lives. Comparison.
Comparison can run deep in our lives but especially on social media. We have the tendency as humans to compare our lives to others, our looks to others, and even our relationships with others. Comparison in any form can steal your joy and create a divide and deep insecurity in your heart. And Jesus does not want that.
Personally, comparison has probably been the biggest insecurity I have dealt with in life and social media, especially. Which, I know it has for many as well. It is easy to compare our looks on Instagram, how many followers we have, and its easy to compare our overall lives with others as well. Sometimes we do not even realize we are doing it. It can be a slippery slope and mess with our minds, which is not healthy.
But, what has helped me combat comparison, is God’s Word and what He thinks of me. I know my identity is not found in people of this world, or how many followers or likes I get, but in Christ alone. He is always enough for me and declares in Psalm 139: 14, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made and I do not need to compare because I and you are an individual, unique person and there is no need to compare ones looks to another or life to another. You were made to be unique and not a copy. Of course we can all fall victim at some time or another with comparison on social media, because we are all human, but always rely on scripture and what God thinks and says about you to get you through.
What scripture says about comparison:
2 Corinthians 10:12- Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.
Fueling Lust for Sin: A big concern with having social media accounts is connecting with others of the opposite gender and viewing others photos that can fuel lust.
There is nothing wrong with connecting with others of the opposite gender, but we must be wise with how we are communicating and if one is married, it is important to guard your eyes and heart that can create an emotional affair or even lead to a physical affair as well.
We live in a society that preaches the opposite of what God preaches and wants for our lives.
God tells us to be modest in what we wear, but the world tells us to reveal more and more of our bodies. On social media, you see many men and women revealing their bodies in lustful ways. We must be careful what we expose ourselves to, especially lust. Lust can be sneaky and tempt us to keep looking at more to fulfill our selfish desire of the flesh. Looking at a lust filled photo and liking what you see, is the gateway to pornography and allowing yourself to be taken by lust by one glance. People want attention a lot on social media, but we must be careful with what we post and ask ourselves if we are creating lust with our own posts and be careful what we look at as well. We can’t always help what people will think of us when they look at us, but if we are posting photos that will cause lust easy in someones heart, it is best not to post that.
What scripture says about Lust:
Exodus 20:14– You shall not commit adultery.
Most people believe that committing adultery is all physical. How many times have you heard someone say, “I’m just looking, that does no harm to anyone”. Well, scripture disagrees. In Matthew 5:28, it states, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jesus takes lustful looks and adultery seriously and we as believers should as well. Especially on social media, where it is so prevalent.
1 John 2:16- For everything in the world- the lust of flesh, the lust of eyes, and the pride of life- comes not from the Father but from the world.
There are many more positives and negatives to social media, but I wanted to discuss the significant ones and how it affects our minds and our day to day walks with Jesus.
To close this post, I want to end it by posting some questions from a Christian author, Tony Reinke, from his book about social media and how we post. (Book: 12 Ways your Phone is Changing you)
These questions are great to ask ourselves before we make a post on our social media accounts and how we can truly align ourselves with God and glorify Him above all else:
Will this ultimately glorify me or glorify God?
Will this mis-represent me or is it authentic?
Will this breed jealousy in others?
Will this provide unity or stir up unnecessary division? (Especially with marriages)
Will this build up or tear down?
Will this fuel lust for sin or warn against it?
Another question I wanted to include that I feel is an important reflection we must have and see how social media is influencing our minds is:
Would it make you uncomfortable to have a fun day in a cool place and not be able to post a picture on Instagram? If it creates an angst within you, that you can’t post or feel you need to post because others post their fun days, then that creates bad feelings and steals your own joy, for the amazing day you just experienced..
As believers, we should be led by God’s word in everything we do. We need to align ourselves with God and have a true heart check when it comes to our social media mindset.
If other people’s pages and posts are breeding negative feelings, like lust, jealousy, comparison, and all the things in the bible God warns us of, maybe we need to unfollow them and replace it with something encouraging and uplifting us in God’s word.
Does social media compete with our precious time with God? This is the main and most significant question we should be asking ourselves.
If we say we are too busy to read the bible for a half hour each day or spend time in prayer with God, but are spending that time or more on social media, then we need to evaluate our hearts a little more closely.
Social media can be so amazing for fellowship, connection, and being encouraged, but we need to not make it the main point of our days and our faith. Experiencing real life outside of our phones and squares of social media, is crucial for connecting with those around us. It is crucial to spend time in our bibles and getting to know Our Savior more..What we do with our time is precious and important and we cannot get that time back.
The highlight of our days should be growing in our faith and relationship with Jesus and encouraging others.
I hope this post about social media encourages you and allows you to take a look at your own heart and relationship with your social media accounts and see where it aligns with God’s Word and where it does not.
I know personally, this reflection for me, has convicted my heart in a couple areas and reminds me that I want to and strive to glorify and honor Jesus in all that I do in life.
Hope you have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend and if you struggle with anything that I listed with social media, it is ok! I know I do, and spend way too much time on there some days. But I feel it is wise to take a step back and just make sure your heart is pure before God with what you are doing on social media and what feelings it is breeding in your heart. I know that I want to always strive to honor God with what I do and that includes when we our on our social media accounts.
All for Jesus,
“Because one day we will look straight into the eyes of Jesus Christ and suddenly the money, the popularity, earthly possessions, and Instagram posts, will be nothing but loss. On this day, the only thing worthy of His attention will be the way we loved. On Judgement Day, will He know you as a close & loyal friend or a distant stranger?
The Gospel is so urgent. To know Jesus intimately is the most valuable gift one can attain on this earth. Don’t wait any longer, start living now” ❤