What the Bible Says About Social Networking

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. - Matthew 12:34-35

In the virtual world of the Internet millions of people are vainly attempting to develop a life separate from their real world life. It may work for a short time, but eventually the real you will come out in your online profile. Many think that they can develop friendships through Facebook and other social networks that they couldn't have otherwise. I don't have scientific data to prove this, but the cold reality is that it usually turns out to be the opposite. Social Networking reveals who we really are and only makes our flaws stand out more.

As Christians the word of God calls us to be different than the world. This is especially true in the online world we live in. Sometimes you will be hard-pressed to see much difference in Christians in how they present themselves online. They think because we can't see their faces that somehow grants them a level of anonymity. 1 Corinthians 13 is known as the "love chapter" and is a guideline for living a Christ-like lifestyle. Let's adopt this as our online profile guide. Let's make it our mantra. I have adapted it from The Message translation. Maybe someone should develop a new translation of the Bible and call it "The Social Networking Version" or "SNV."

If I tweet with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but noise.
If my status updates speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I say to my followers, “Jump,” and they jump, but I don’t love, I’m nothing.
If I “friend” the poor and friendless, but I don’t love, I’m not really a “friend.”
So, no matter what I tweet, what my blog or status update says, I’m nothing without love.
Love never gives up on its friends.
Love cares more for its friend’s status than its own.
Love isn’t envious of how many friends someone else has.
Love doesn’t try to impress its friends.
Love doesn’t use its profile to show off.
Love doesn’t hijack its friend’s online conversations.
Love doesn’t use Facebook or Twitter to vent.
Love doesn’t post negative things about others.
Love doesn’t flaunt their friend’s struggles.
Love always posts something that is encouraging and uplifting.
Love always forgives.
Love always tweets the best about their friends.
Love never brings up friend’s wrongs.
Love never gives up on its friends.

If  everyone of us allowed our online presence to be guided by these principles, the Internet would become a place of encouragement and blessing instead of the normal dumping ground for all things negative, hateful and discouraging. You and I have a tremendous resource at our fingertips every day that has the potential for changing lives for the better. Let's take full advantage of it and find a way to encourage and bless those in your social network every day.
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