by Aaron Earls
One of the most unfortunate but telling aspects of social media is the way many Christians use it with little concern for how it reflects on them or their Savior.
Often times they are unconcerned with the truth, haphazardly sharing demonstrably false news stories.
Other times, they wrongly believe as long as we speak the truth, nothing else matters—even (especially) when talking to or about other Christians.
However, Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:15 that believers keep unity within the body of Christ by not just speaking truth, but by doing so in love.
One of the simplest ways to tell if our social media speech is truly biblical in both the content and delivery is by testing it against the fruit of the Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23 HCSB).
Each of those characteristics evident in a person living according to the Spirit should raise questions about what we share on social media.
Love: Is what I’m saying concerned more with others’ edification or my reputation?
Joy: Will this bring lasting joy to those who read it?
Peace: Am I doing all I can with this to promote peace in the body of Christ?
Patience: Is it the right time to say this or should I wait until later when I may be thinking more clearly and less reactionary?
Kindness: Are my words kind—not telling someone exactly what they always want to hear, but maybe not always saying exactly what I want to say either?
Goodness: Will my words encourage the reader to live more like Jesus?
Faith: Am I attempting to say something that will cause people to trust more in Christ or applaud me?
Gentleness: Am I speaking more harshly than needed simply because I want to “make an example” of those who may disagree with me?
Self-control: Should I actually say this? After considering the other fruit of the Spirit questions, is this something that is better left unsaid?
Discipleship involves submitting every area of our life to the Holy Spirit, including what we post on Facebook and Twitter.
Does your social media feed live up to the test of the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
AARON EARLS (@WardrobeDoor) is online editor of Facts & Trends.