By Kevin Hazlett

Have you ever seen the pictures online of some serene lakeside cabin in the middle of God’s creation, with words attached saying something like, “You can stay here free for 30 days, but you can’t ______?” I wonder if some people had to put “use social media” in that blank if they would be able to make it. In the midst of all the madness and melodrama that sometimes goes along with social media use, have you ever just taken a hiatus from it all? Sometimes my imagination gets the best of me, and I wonder things like, “How would a person who stepped out of a time machine from an era before social media respond when first exposed to it?” Imagine what such a person with a completely unbiased, objective perspective might think! That person would probably think society has completely lost its collective mind! What would he think of memes, filters, and adults using “emoji’s?”

The simple fact of the matter is, there is One who supersedes time and space, who sees every comment, picture, and video ever posted, and knows even the thought and motive behind every such post. It is sobering to think that we will give account for every idle word (Matthew 12:36) and every hour wasted (“Redeeming the time…” Ephesians 5:16) on things of no eternal significance.

Now, it would be presumptuous to disparage all social media as inherently evil and a waste of time. We are commanded as believers to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” To simply write off all use of social media would be unwise, because there is an entire sect of society whose lives have been fully intertwined with the workings of the internet. To not reach out to them via those means would be a missed opportunity. Instead, we need to circumspectly approach this platform as we would any other area of life. Can our social media activity be done with Christ’s stamp of approval? For a moment, imagine Jesus’s nail-pierced hand resting gently on yours each time you click the mouse to send that friend request or post that comment. Imagine the eyes of the Saviour viewing the contents of your screen right along with you. Would it change remarkably how you use those apps? Proverbs does tell us, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”

Perhaps it might be time for an honest evaluation of how social media is affecting your life and those within your realm of influence. Are you posting for purposes of self-promotion, or Saviour-promotion? Would a survey of your profile reveal more about Jesus, or your political ideologies and food habits? Social media provides people a platform like never before in history. A mature believer will be driven in everything he does by a burning desire to know Christ and to make Him known. The call is for a renewed sense of commitment to viewing and using this platform of social media as just another means for accomplishing this goal. Social media has many redeeming traits, including its ability to connect people from all walks of life from all parts of the globe.

So in this world of social media mania, let’s make the most of it for the Master! Avoid gossip or pointless arguments and debates. Instead, attempt to encourage and edify. Let’s not be afraid to apply Biblical principles to this new area of our lives. Sadly, much harm has by misuse of this outlet, but as followers of Christ, let us seek to use it as one more avenue to exalt His name!