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Yes, being a flawed mom is OK

Why It’s Important for Christians to be Salt and Light on Social Media

♦  Has the climate on social media been causing you to break into a sweat?
♦  Are you nauseated as you scroll through your Facebook feed because of all the negativity?
♦ Are you wondering why it’s important to be “salt and light” when you press “post”?
Then this article is for you!

I am what’s known as a Generation Xer, born in 1970, sandwiched somewhere between Baby Boomers (my parents) and Millennials (my kids).

My childhood was great! I played all-the-day-long like any other happily-oriented kid who was oblivious to the societal changes that were sweeping the nation.

I wasn’t very socially or politically aware, but by the time I entered college, I was a new Christian who was coming of age spiritually, politically and socially; and the world around me started to look very different.

It was about that time that I first remember being acutely aware that I had not lived (on a conscious level) through the sexual revolution, the free love movement, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam war, Roe-V. Wade and the legalization of abortion, and the rampant drug experimentation of the late 60’s and 70’s.  Whew!

And for this, I was ETERNALLY grateful!  Like, raise my hands-up-to-heaven, hallelujah, thank you, Jesus! grateful.

via GIPHY

I was grateful because I recognized the preceding period in America as a time when the country was ideologically at war with itself, and was deeply fractured and split.

Even as a baby Christian, I recognized that much of what had taken place was anti-establishment, anti-God and immoral in nature.  Even the noble and brave civil rights movement inevitably experienced painful and violent outcomes.

America was a scary place.

I often wondered what it was like to be a person of faith in Jesus Christ during such tumultuous times, and I was thankful that I had dodged that bullet as a believer in Christ.

I was hoping that I could make it through my lifetime without any semblance of the cultural hysteria which swept through the previous generation, but apparently, here we go again!

I seem to remember it starting sometime during the primary elections of 2016.

This time around it wasn’t going to be politics as usual.  There was a very unconventional candidate running; a non-politician who was at times brash and rude.

It seemed every day in the political world was an adventure, or at least a show.  Maybe it was excellent for ratings, but not necessarily so good for the soul.

We saw a proliferation of video footage in which cops were mistreating black people.  We saw the emergence of Black Lives Matter, a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, and the violent suppression of free speech on college campuses.

We heard a presidential nominee make – what some people considered to be – divisive and racist statements about Mexicans.

We saw fighting at rallies. We saw protests and fighting in the streets.  We were becoming a nation undone – divided and splintering at the seams.

It was just the beginning.   

People were intensely passionate about their views.  Politics was no longer something you had an opinion on – it was now gaining a cult following.

Politics was the new religion.

People were saying such sharp and divisive things on the internet.

As sad as I thought that was, I could expect that from non-believers – from someone who doesn’t know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior – but these statements were coming from professing Christians.

I didn’t quite know what to make of that.

The worst of it was the day I saw a nude image of Melania Trump circulating around the internet – and it was being “shared” on Facebook by professing Christians.

While that behavior alone is not going to make me question a person’s faith, it does make me wonder if they understand their own level of offense against God, and what great lengths Jesus Christ has gone through to cover their multitudinous sins.

Lord, forgive us for our callousness! 

1 Peter 4:8: “…love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7: “. . . love is kind. . . It does not dishonor others, . . . It always protects, . . “ 

Do Not Slander

Likewise, it doesn’t matter what my thoughts are about the President.  I won’t take the liberty of disrespecting him; and certainly not in public.

Satan is Jesus’s #1 opponent.  Yet even the Angels in heaven will not slander Satan in the Lord’s presence.  Yet we as Christians take such liberty on social media to express our utter contempt and disdain for our President.

“…whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. ”  (2 Peter 2:11)

Pray for Your President

One thing I have learned as a Christian is that it’s terribly hard to speak ill of any person whom I’m praying for – because when I pray, prayer changes my own heart and my disposition towards that person.

Scripture tells us to pray for those in authority:

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, . . . “  (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

President by God’s Design

You may hate to hear this, but Scripture tells us that our President is in office by God’s design:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”  (Romans 13:1-7)

And because of that, we should give him honor:

. . . for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. (Romans 13: 6 – 7)

Something to Think About

Please do NOT walk away from this article believing that I’m espousing that Christians should roll over and die or be passive in the area of public debate.

On the contrary, we should participate with fervor and vigor!  We should NOT shrink back from influencing our generation on any social media platform.

And it’s not that our opinions won’t bring offense – even the Gospel is an offense to those who are perishing.

Rather, we should be respectful and mindful so that we don’t loose our Christian witness or bring shame to our Lord in the process.

Before You Post

And so I ask you, when you post on social media, can people sense grace in your comments?

Can people sense empathy in what you post?

Before blasting your thoughts into cyberspace, consider the following . . .

1. Are you losing your witness to a lost and dying world to express your views?
2. After you comment, could you share the Gospel with someone of the opposing opinion?
3. Would they be open to your testimony about the sanctifying work of Jesus Christ in your life?

***

I know I’ve referenced (and seemingly defended) the President quite a bit, but he happens to be a subject of much discourse on social media so, I believe him to be a fitting example.

However, you can take this principle and apply it to any hot topic; that’s because our witness as Christians is not ultimately about politics, sports, race relations, etc.  It’s about the Cross – the cross of Jesus Christ.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk [text, tweet or post] come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)  [Insert in brackets is mine.]

xoxo,

Tiffiney

How about you? Do you think all’s fair in love and war when posting as a Christian on social media? What has your experience been like? Post a comment below to share. I’d love to hear from you!

 I’ve shared this post at these fabulous faith and family link-ups.

Comments

  1. Oh, wow…I have been having this conversation with several people at work the past few weeks, as so much around us seems to be out of control. Just the reminder that God is still God, still on the throne and always in control is huge! Your message is so filled with hope here Tiffiney, and one that needs sharing. So much anger and volatility in our backyards, but we can still make an impact because everyone needs to know the message of Christ is one of that trumps all anger and pain of this world. This was a breath of fresh air to be here today my friend!

  2. Oh, Tiffiney, you stole the words right out of my heart! Can I just say that sitting across from you with a cup of coffee and a long conversation would be an absolute joy? So much about the escalation of pain and anger in our world is grieving my heart. I feel like I am continually walking a tightrope of words. I so want to honor and defend those I love and the right I know that aligns with God’s Truth, yet not condone methods or actions that do not align with Him. I keep saying if change is what we want, we have to make sure our methodology is worthy of God’s blessing. Ahhh … so many thoughts in my mind – I might just be rambling at this point!
    But thank you, my friend, for joining me in sharing the hope of Christ with the world. Of making every attempt to be salt and light.

    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

    • Hey Lori, I welcome that sweet fellowship and cup of Joe with you! I know this is what many of us are thinking. Your analogy about walking on a tight rope is so on point! And I so agree with you about wanting to honor and defend those you love and the right that aligns with God’s truth, yet not condone methods or actions that do not align with Him. Wish I could have included that quote in my blog post! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I did live through those years altho a little removed and calloused to the pain of others (in elementary school) And I’ve been reminded of that time of late. God may be on His way back – that’s not for us to say – it is ours to be, salt and light. Great post! PS we share a website name, almost!

    • Hi Sue! We can be certain that Christ’s return is imminent – He said He’s coming soon. And yes, look at how similar our website names are. As they say, great minds think alike. LOL! Thanks for stopping by. 😊

  4. Even in the charge atmosphere and with the relative anonymity of social media, the unchanging guidelines from God about our interactions with others still hold. Thanks for taking us there!

  5. I couldn’t agree more. There are people I love and respect on both sides of these divisive political debates. Christians on both sides who don’t seem to realize the hate they profess to be against the Jesus they claim to follow. But I can also see both the hurt and the hunger behind both sides fierce commentary. I think we’d all be better off taking these conversations to our front porches instead of our facebook pages. Love this post and the levelheadedness it promotes.

    • Hey Liz! I I, too, see the hurt and hunger behind both sides. This is such a tough topic. God help us all no matter what side we land on! And I absolutely love the discussion on the front porch idea! Now we’re talkin’. 😉 Blessings to you and thanks for stopping by!

  6. Very well said! Bravo! I love this post, and am so glad the hear that someone else sees this with perspective. It is truly sad what is going on, and I think saying that your political affiliation has become like a religion is very fitting. Our country is being divided in so many ways. Pray for the President and all leaders, and pray for America! Thank you so much for putting into word what I am sure so many or us our thinking. Many Thanks! 8)

    • Hi Debra! Yes, let’s continue to pray for all of those in leadership over us. They certainly need our prayers, and we certainly need them to hear from God so that we may live quiet and peaceable lives. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Well stated Tiffany. What a thought-provoking and insightful post. I remember when God called me to start a blog and then write a book. I had to be more aware of what I post, and who I follow on social media. I want my life to glorify Christ and not stain my testimony for Him. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. What a pleasure to visit and meet you via #SaltandLight. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and may God continue to bless you and yours.

    • Hi Horace! So nice to finally “meet” you after seeing you all around the internet – especially over at Deb’s place. I love what you’ve shared here. Yes, when we are a showcase for Christ (and all Christians are) we have to be selective of what we put out there on social media. Your comment reminds me of the scripture which says, “Let not then your good be evil spoken of.” We may have good intentions with what we post, but how is it being perceived? Such a good point! Thank you for sharing and please stop back by soon. 🙂

  8. I don’t think I can say Amen enough times! I cringe at what I see friends say these days, Christian or not. I try to be encouraging and loving, or at least funny. 😃 Thank you for being brave enough to talk about this!

    • Hey Sarah! I can tell that you and I are kindred spirits. I, too, love to make light of issues or diffuse them with humor. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  9. This is such an important topic. We do need to be careful, on social media especially, that the way we are expressing our opinions is honouring to God.

  10. Wow! Beautiful words reflective of what we are called to do as Christians, being the salt and the light of the earth! Your words are motivating and inspirational, and much needed today. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

    • Hi Robin! I’m so glad to know that this post resonated with you. Thanks for your positive feedback. It’s been great visiting you over at Robinality.com. Let’s stay in touch!

  11. Well said, Tiffiney! I’m right there with you–horrified by the way some Christians are talking on social media. We must keep in mind who we are representing to the world! It doesn’t matter how we personally feel about a situation or our political leaders, we must rise above and be, as you’ve said, salt and light. I feel challenged to think more about all that that means for me personally, my friend! Thanks for saying all of this and challenging us in such an important way!

    • Hi Beth! I believe we all need a reminder from time to time. Let’s continue to pray that we are indeed salt and light to a dying world. Sometimes, that may mean that we loose our “right” to speak our mind. I’m learning that I have no rights where life in Christ is concerned. I want men to see less of me and more of Him! Here’s to hiding ourselves behind the cross. Have a blessed week!

  12. Great post, Tiffiney, and as for the 60s, free love was worth what it cost. Viet Nam was better (I got there after the war to do things best not discussed)

    Personally, I don’t follow a FB feed, and pretty well shy away from Twitter except for the Five Minute Friday writers’ group (#fmfparty)

    Oh, and I am your neighbour at ‘From Messes To Messages’.

    • Hey Andrew – a guy commenting on the blog? This is just way too cool! LOL!

      Firstly, thank you for our service to our country. No matter what anyone’s stance on the war, you were out there sacrificing your time, energy and effort when others weren’t. For that, I applaud you! As for the “free love” movement, I thought that was about love with no strings attached, so I’m definitely not a fan of that, but we can agree to disagree. 🙂

      As for your limited use of some social media platforms – I completely applaud you for that as well. I feel as if I have to be plugged into them to promote my blog posts around the web, but if it wasn’t for that reason, I’d be way less plugged in myself. I think it’s so healthy and liberating to limit our use. My unsolicited and seemingly contradictory advice to you would be to avoid it as long as you can!!!!

      Thanks for stopping over from Messy Marriage. Have a blessed week!

  13. Hi Lois, I’m so glad that this post resonated with you. Letting our light shine on social media is so important. I enjoy linking up with the Purposeful Faith community. See ya next week, Lord willing!

  14. Tiffiney, I’m so glad to be linked up next to you at Purposeful Faith today because I would have hated to miss this post! I am a Gen-Xer too, and would you believe that just recently I’ve been thinking about where in the world our generation fits in today’s culture? It certainly seems like we are the overlooked ones, sandwiched as you say between the Boomers and the Millennials! Anyway, what you’ve written here resonates deeply with me. I appreciate your advice to think before posting, to pray for the president, to think about whether we would be able to share our faith with someone who has read our comments. This message is so necessary, and you’ve delivered it in such a gracious way. Thank you!

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