I love tools. I even have some that I call my own. The right tool can make any job much easier.
But using social media to promote criticism, negativity or judgement serves a different purpose.
I love how we can use social media to reach across the oceans and share life with believers and non-believers. The stats that show the reach of my blog excite me more than any of the other numbers:
(I blocked out the numbers on the United States because my point is not to show how many people have viewed my blog, but just how far it can reach!)
This is not just a physical chasm between the nations. It’s a spiritual one. Even amongst believers. I’m always saddened when those who claim to know Christ choose to use this resource to criticize or judge. Using a tool in a detrimental way always does damage. It tears down, rips apart and destroys.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without pretense. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace. James 3:17-18
Don’t criticize one another, brothers and sisters. Anyone who defames or judges a fellow believer defames and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:11-12
Do we honestly think that we can advance the kingdom in this way?
My heart is breaking over the deaths of fellow believers in Texas. The devastation caused by one man’s demented rage. The pain and the heartache. The separation. Brothers and Sisters in Christ grieving–but not without hope.
The testimony of God’s grace and mercy and provision in the midst of this tragedy has been a powerful tool for God’s kingdom.
I can’t help but think about the impact that these testimonies are making across the globe.
Do you really think it matters whether they were a big church or a small one? Is there any sane person who would dare criticize or blame this church in any way? I think not. I’m sure this small band of believers was not perfect. They are sinners saved by God’s grace. They may not worship the way you do. They might have opposing opinions or interpret Scripture differently–but in a moment like this, there is no room for judgement or criticism. They are fellow believers who are suffering a tremendous loss.
So why, then, do we think that this truth, this grace, applies only when there are underlying circumstances? To think that there is ever a climate that makes it okay to speak publicly words that bring nothing but grief to the heart of God…
Is not this passage in Titus 3 clear:
Christian Living among Outsiders
3 Remind them to submit to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people. 3 For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.
4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared,5 he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration(I) and renewal by the Holy Spirit. 6 He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior 7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life. 8 This saying is trustworthy.I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed God might be careful to devote themselves to good works. These are good and profitable for everyone. 9 But avoid foolish debates, genealogies,quarrels, and disputes about the law, because they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning. 11 For you know that such a person has gone astray and is sinning; he is self-condemned.
I know. There will be those who say that I’m being negative myself. That I’m complaining about the complainers. I’ll take that, standing up.
I would rather stand up for what is right– to lend hand to the fallen rather than criticize one who is down.
(Go read the story of the adulterous woman in John 8.)
I never liked bullying when I was a kid. I hated to be the brunt of it and I despised seeing it in others. I plead with you–don’t be a Christian bully.
Our words matter and so does the trail we leave through technology.
We will not know this side of heaven the impact we can have for good–or for bad. Forgive me if I have ever said or wrote things that are anything other than a kind word of encouragement. I will not apologize if Scripture offends you–I just don’t want to offend you because of my attitude or my comments. Truth is truth and I will obviously disagree with many who don’t see the Bible as their authority, or those who don’t have Jesus as their Savior, but I owe it to every single one of you to speak in love and to never judge your character. The Bible gives clear instructions on confronting a fellow believer in private. (Matthew 18:15) Anything else is gossip and slander.
I cannot know your heart or your motives, just as you can’t know mine, so I will share my heart and my story with the hope that you see the difference that Jesus makes in a life that is surrendered to Him.
Even on social media.
“Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful. And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25
[Won’t you join me in memorizing John 13:35 for the Scripture Memory Challenge? Hiding God’s word in our heart will help you as you live out the truths of the Bible and be a reminder for you when you are tempted to say things you might regret later!]