What does the Bible say about Social Media?
It’s a complicated world these days, isn’t it. Almost daily it seems our world gets more complex — and faster too. In such an environment our minds try to simplify the chaos. We tend to categorize the complex into simpler concepts. Shades of grey things are more easily managed if we classify them as black or white. When we are unsure which it should be we sometimes stamp a thing as evil, and avoid it completely even when it could be put to good use.
Jesus, we must remember, ate and drank with those whom others deemed outcasts… persons to be avoided at all cost…. lepers, tax collectors, maimed and unclean. He turned all of these into that which brought glory to God.
Movies, money, media and medicines, just for starters. All of these have potential for great evil or great good. They are extensions of ourselves… levers with magnify that which is in our hearts.
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” wrote Baron John Dalberg Acton back in 1887. In Proverbs we read “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Prov. 4:23). Jesus put it like this, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45 NKJV). Or we could add, “out of the abundance of the heart a Christian uses his authority for good … writes a faith-inspiring movie script…. uses medicine to heal… social media to minister to hurting souls.”
Yet still, there is need for caution here. Paul warned the Corinthians, “not everything is beneficial…. not everything is constructive…” (1 Cor. 10:23). The aim of our use of the things of this world must be “the good of others… [and] the glory of God.” (v. 24, 31).
And as with all these things we must also guard against overuse… against addictive behaviour which consumes our time and influence in this world. “Be wise as serpents,” said Jesus, “as shrewd as snakes” the NIV has it (Matt. 10:16). Paul warned the Galatians to be alert to their limits. “Considering yourself lest you also be tempted” And we must remember that we are always an example to our weaker brother.
So that’s it. No external thing is evil in itself; the evil (or good) resides within each individual. Our job as Christians is to choose the good — and the glorious thing is we have the Spirit of God within us to help us do exactly that.
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