“To Post or Not To Post”
Most people remember the line from Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet” that says: “To be, or not to be - that is the question.” From that classic phrase, I would like to pose a question for all of us to consider when it comes to our use of social media. “To post or not to post” is a question I believe that we should consider before we post on social media.
The use of social media has exploded in our culture. With that use, we see a lot of abuse that goes along with it. I regularly see rants, gossip, attacks, and many more posts that work to tear relationships apart and hurt folks rather than promote and encourage others. As a Christian, what are our responsibilities when it comes to posting on social media?
First, I believe that there are Biblical principles that we should follow in everyday life regardless of whether it is personal interaction or social media use. The principles have challenged me over the years in my walk with God and are great for us to consider before posting. These principles are as follows:
Biblical Principles to Follow
The Golden Rule: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Mat. 7:12) We should treat others as we would like to be treated when we decide to post or not.
Whatever is Excellent: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Phil. 4:8) The list that Paul gives in this verse is a great roadmap for determining what we should post.
A Good Reputation: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” (Prov. 22:1)
Bad company corrupts good morals (including online company): “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Cor. 15:33) We should strive to protect our reputation and name. More importantly, we should, as Christians, guard our testimonies and represent Christ well with all we say even in the world of social media.
Is it profitable?: “All things are permissible unto me, but all things are not profitable: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Corinthians 6:12) We should consider before posting whether that post is going to benefit our testimony or help others in their walk with God.
Will it bring glory to God?: “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) Is what we are about to post going to bring honor to God? This is a tough but great principle to live by.
The principles above are challenging but honoring to God. Using and following these as a guidepost will enable us to use social media as a forum to honor Jesus and uplift and encourage others. It will give us clear direction on whether “to post or not to post.”