Is it Helpful?

I have to be honest. Social media these days is wearing me out.

Instead of seeing pictures of friends and family, more often than not I find my news feeds filled with articles and long-winded posts about the latest culture craze. (We can stop for a moment here and laugh at the irony that this post itself is a form of social media.)

All irony and craziness aside, I do think that it’s worth our time to pause from our posting and liking long enough to assess ourselves and our online habits. As women who are committed to reflecting the likeness of Christ in our lives, we have to be willing to bring every aspect of our lives under His lordship- even something as simple as Facebook or Instagram.

Is it helpful?

In Ephesians 4, Paul admonishes his readers, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Although Paul probably didn’t have social media in mind when writing this, words are words. And we may find that his words can act as a measuring stick for ours.

How are we using our words on the internet? Before we post, do we consider the power of our words? With so much accessibility at our fingertips, we are rarely disconnected, and it’s far too easy to use our words flippantly online with little thought to their affect on others.

Perhaps we should ask ourselves why. “Why do I feel the need to share my thoughts and insights on this particular issue?” Worthwhile words are those spoken in truth and in love through the means of a genuine relationship with another.

Is our post really most helpful to others? Or is it one more hashtag or trending topic in an every-changing sea of words?

Who is it for?

The amount of information online is tremendous, and the opportunities to share and connect with others over social media are endless. But connecting and sharing aren’t the only things social media is good for- the opportunities for self-promotion are endless, too. Without even realizing it, we can find ourselves seeking attention, status, and affirmation through our internet friendships.

Far too often, I am guilty of this. I post, like, or comment because I want others to see. I’m longing for an acceptance and a belonging that are only truly found in Christ. I’m focused on myself and on my image rather than focusing on reflecting Christ’s image to others.

Before posting the next photo or sharing another blog post, maybe we should consider who this post is for. Are we posting this so that others will see us? If sharing a photo or blog with another is our genuine desire, are we willing to share it through a more private means? If I am not content to simply text a photo to a few close friends or to share it during my next face-to-face conversation, my motives may not be genuine.

I do believe that there is a good and healthy place for the internet in our lives. We must choose to remember that the power of our words doesn’t stop with our mouths. The written word carries just as much meaning. By stewarding our words well, we bring credibility and honor to Christ as we own His cause for a dying world.

-Megan Gaminde, OVC Kenya