Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What Does Facebook Have to do With Matthew 18

To answer the title of this post…absolutely nothing. We live in a day when social media allows kneejerk reactions and foolishness to run rampant and sadly, it is all too prominent among Christians. From Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and all the areas across the USA, you have an amazing amount of “Christian” people doing anything but acting like a Christian. I have seen everything from “Pray for my husband, he is so cold and our marriage is a mess,” to “Pray for me I am leaving my church because of certain issues,” to “Praying for a friend because people are so mean.” The common thread is the Pharisaical language that screams out “please let me gossip.” This is the complete opposite of what Scripture commands –

·         that I am to guard my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ

·         I am to glorify God in what I do and say

·         I am to do everything without complaining and grumbling

·         I am to do all for the glory of God.

I know there was no social media when the Bible was written, but gossip is still gossip and the Word of God still reveals the human heart and exposes our sin. The lady or man who writes and complains about their spouse, the Pastor or members who air their grievances on social media would do well to consider that we are accountable to the Most High God for every word that we speak. In a book I read some time ago entitled Character Assassins,  the author dealt with gossip and wrote “they are experts of disguise when they see it would be to their advantage. They are able to present themselves as pious, devout and spiritual church members, who are doing their destructive work for the ‘good of the church’ to advance God’s Kingdom…these people live in denial as to their true nature….They firmly believe that what they are doing is the will of God.”  
It used to be we had to worry about our teens doing dumb things on Facebook that could forever damage them, now we have to worry about adults doing those things. We would do well to remember:

 Ecc. 5:2 “Do not be rash with your mouth and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.”

Social media allows us to be rash, it gives what I call “keyboard courage,” it stifles life on life, face to face work. Phone, e-mail, Facebook, twitter and so many of these similar things damage hearts and testimonies and, most importantly damage the name of our great God. It has never been easier to flaunt our depraved heart, to react, to bait someone to ask questions. We spend a great deal of time reminding our students that one bad decision can forever destroy them on social media, but in truth one reactionary “tweet,” “post,” or comment can destroy a testimony that one has spent years building. In such an “advanced” world we would do well to remember the old children’s song that encourages us to “be careful little lips what you say, because the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little lips what you say.” We may need to add a verse that says “Be careful little hands what you type, text or retweet.” It might not rhyme but it certainly is applicable for our day.