So far I’ve outlined my thoughts on how Facebook has been good for OneLife Church and can help us spread the message of the Gospel. Then there was the honest talk about how Facebook has a bad side when unhealthy people use it with unrealistic expectations and assumptions. But unfortunately, that’s not the worst of it. There’s also the ugly!
One of the most encouraging things for me is to come home on Sunday afternoons and begin to see people posting what God has done in their lives as a result of serving or worshipping at OneLife. A close second is Fridays and Saturdays when I see OneLifers posting invitations to their friends and family. It’s awesome!
But then it turns ugly. The same person who raves about God’s work in their life on Sunday afternoon gets in a public slug-fest Monday on a “friend’s” wall with language that would make a sailor blush. The same person inviting everyone to church on Friday posts a picture that does anything but make God smile another day of the week. The same person posting Bible verses and devotional thoughts one day is gossiping publicly and saying things through a keyboard they would never say face-to-face the next day.
It’s ugly. And it’s holding us back from reaching people who need Jesus.
Romans 14:14-23 calls us who are Christians to higher standard of living. Using an issue that was a big deal then (what foods should and shouldn’t be eaten) Paul basically says we should do nothing that would keep people from Christ. Verse 16 goes so far as to say we should live in such a way that unbelivers or those who doubt our faith have no reason to criticize us. Here’s the kicker: this is a standard we can’t live up to on our own. It takes living with the Spirit in control.
When the Spirit is in control, public gossip and criticism of someone else won’t be posted for the world to see. Putting someone else down to seem “in control” will be the furthest thing from your mind. Posting photos that will damage your witness won’t even be possible because the photos won’t exist. And finally, your kids will see a godly example of what it means to be an adult. Because don’t forget – they’re watching your every move and every post.
Facebook can be an incredible tool to reach people for Jesus and grow His Church. But let’s keep it good! If we avoid the bad and ugly, this can be a tool that we’ll see used to point many toward Him.