We live in a time that feels, in a sense, as though we are required to use the Internet. You’re considered strange if you’re young and without social media. For most people, using social media is part of daily routine. And, I love using social media! It’s fun connecting with others around the world. To make your thoughts and beliefs known takes almost no effort!
A passage comes to mind when I think about how I view social media use:
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:31-33)
This is a pretty well-known passage, and I’m sure I’m not the first one to think of this one in regards to social media. Paul’s instruction here offers some wise words to apply. Contextually, he speaks about food, and how to handle it around other brothers, but I believe the spirit of this passage can apply to our social media usage as well.
Preaching At People Vs Connecting To People
“Preaching at people” is not what social media is primarily for, but is too often used this way. Those who simply preach at people — no matter what their message is — won’t make a positive impact in the lives of others online.
A dude in our TMM community here, Meiko, talked with me about life happenings recently. He said something really profound that I want to share. He basically said, “You can have all the right bible-knowledge there is, but if people aren’t feeling connected to you, what is it good for?” More or less, this is what I got from him, and it’s true!
Just before verses 31-33, 1 Corinthians 10:23 teaches that “all things are lawful, but not all things are helpful.”
So is being lawful while skipping the helpful part of using social media really bringing God glory?
Are you utilizing social media to really connect with people, to the glory of God?
The word I want to speak to you bros is this: in whatever you do — especially social media — be helpful to others. In so doing, God is glorified!
If you look at the passage again, right after Paul gives the instruction “to do all to the glory of God,” he begins addressing offenses to others because it seems he views a correlation between how we treat others and giving God glory.
If we strive to give God glory by even social media, we must not seek self-advantage, but that of many, so they can grow in their own relationship with God.
I’m learning how to do this better as I use the media. Answers are still to be found here! This is how I see it. Please, if some good thoughts about this come to you while reading this, shoot them to me in the comments below! Let’s grow together in this.
Truly relating to people, making them feel connected, takes more work but yields better results. Rather than seeking an audience, we should seek to give God glory by building relationships and making disciples of one another.