Tuesday, March 02, 2021

How to be like Jesus on Facebook

by STEPHEN ANGLISS Contributing Writer
| February 12, 2021 1:00 AM

When Jesus left Earth, He told His followers to make disciples, “In Jerusalem… Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) The point was that Jesus wanted them to start ministry in the places where they already lived. What would Jesus say if He gave the command in 2021? Maybe, “Make disciples on Facebook, on the YouTube comment section, and everywhere you log in.”

The majority of our social interaction now takes place online. COVID-19 has made us even more digitally dependent. Unlike the Christians of the New Testament, our connections with our communities don’t occur in town squares or outdoor markets, but on social media. The question, then, is how can Christians live and love like Christ in a social media world? Here are three ideas:

1. Know When to be Silent

Jesus’ most powerful teaching moments often came when He didn’t respond to the question or attack thrown His way (Matthew 22:23-46). It is not the job of Christians to correct every wrong seen online. But it is our job to love every person online despite their wrong opinions. Sometimes silence is the best form of love.

2. Focus On What’s Important

Is Jesus really your king? Scroll through your social media posts and find out. Who do you post about more? Jesus? Or Trump? The things you post about most reveal what’s most important in your life. It may be your baby, your relationship, your looks, or your stuff. But if you want to be like Jesus online, do what Jesus did, point people to God (John 17:1-5)

3. Be Kind

Being right does not give you license to be harsh. Truth does not cover a multitude of sins. Love does (1 Peter 4:8). When confronted with something untrue online, do not be overcome with indignation, but be overcome with grace. Ultimately, God will be the final “fact-checker.” He will right the wrongs. In the meantime, be kind to those who are wrong online. Jesus was and still is.

Perhaps the best piece of advice is to dump social media all-together. Do you really need it? Does it bring you joy or frustration? My experience is that social media has drawn more people away from God than it has drawn people to Him. In a world of heightened anxiety and worry, maybe the best place to start is to close Facebook and open your Bible.

Stephen Angliss is pastor at Bayview Bible Church.