Representing Jesus Well

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                                          Photo credit: Rosaura Ochoa via VisualHunt / CC BY

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17 

The Message We Send

This post is specifically directed to my Brothers and Sisters in Christ all across the globe, especially to those who have access to social media in any form.

Brothers and Sisters, have we considered the message we are sending when we get on some form of social media and…

  • Trash a political figure, movie star, or some other public personality?
  • Throw rocks at other Christians with whom we may not agree?
  • Spew out our frustrations regarding our neighbors, local businesses, other drivers, our spouses,  kids, etc.?

We may not have given it much thought, but, when we do the things mentioned above, we are sending a very clear message to the world that Christians are absolutely no different than anyone else. The Church is therefore completely irrelevent, and Jesus Christ makes absolutely no difference whatever in a person’s life. Is that really the message we want to be sending?

Think about it.

But…But…But…

I can imagine this will raise a number of “buts” in some people’s minds.

But what if it’s true?

Really?

If we are honest with ourselves, the only thing we really “know” about anything, especially outside of our community, is what is fed to us via the news media or social media. That being the case, all we are actually getting is information largely interpreted by the personal bias of whoever is sharing the story. We are never sure how the information is being manipulated to cause us to see things in a certain light. One sound bite taken out of context can have people frothing at the mouth in anger. When the same statement is considered within the larger context, a whole new picture emerges. (For more on this, check out this excellent post by Phil Cooke).

Let’s face it squarely: unless we are privy to the inner circle of what is going on, we really know very little. That is why we must be very cautious about responding to anything on the news, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

But I have a right to my opinion!

Is that a fact?

As followers of Christ, we would probably agree that the only person who really ever had a right to His own opinion would be Jesus Christ Himself. Let’s see how He conducted Himself in that regard.

For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. John 6:38

So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. John 7:16

 I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. John 12:49

The way I read it, Jesus certainly wasn’t going around spouting off His own opinion. Everything He did He did as a representative of His Father in heaven.

That was Jesus. So what about us? Consider the following.

Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23

14 Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life. 15 He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. 2 Corinthians 5:14 – 15

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

There are other passages we could refer to, but these serve to show that everything in our lives is to be given up the Lord. Everything we do we are to do as His representatives. That includes what we do on social media.

But it’s evil!

There are a lot of evil things that we confront in this world. Screaming at it on social media, however, is probably not the best way to confront it. I have found that the best way to deal with darkness is to turn on the light.

10 Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. 11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,

“Awake, O sleeper,
    rise up from the dead,
    and Christ will give you light.” Ephesians 5:10 – 14 

The best way to turn on the light and expose the darkness is to live in the opposite spirit. If Christians were to have better marriages, better parents and children, better social and recovery programs than the rest of the world, the contrast would be noticed by everyone. Then we might have a solid platform from which to speak truth to power and actually be heard.

Be the Healing

Instead of contributing to the problems and deepening the divisions, why not be the healing agency that Christ has called us to be? Here are a few examples of things we can share on social media that might make a positive difference in the lives of others.

  • How about sharing the change that Jesus Christ has made in our lives?
  • Maybe we could share a passage of Scripture that has moved our hearts.
  • Could we maybe share a prayer that would help others draw closer to the Lord?
  • We could even share a simple word of encouragement that would lift the spirits of others.

And if the time comes when we do feel the need to engage an issue on social media, let us please make sure we do so in a Christ-like spirit. Before hitting “enter” on the post we have just composed, maybe we should stand it up against the criteria found in Galatians 5:22 – 23.

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

If what we are about to share does not match up with what we see here, it is not being shared in the Spirit of Christ regardless how good it may sound or feel.

A Powerful Tool

Social Media is a powerful tool. It is only good or bad according to how it is used. Let’s make sure we use it to represent Jesus well. This can only be done when we are truly living in the Reign.

M

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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