Are you a Christian Internet troll?
Every number has a name, every name has a profile, and every post matters to God.
Jesus cares about what we do on social media because what we post offers a perspective of who God is.
When we decide to follow Jesus, we become His representatives. By how we live, we can connect people to Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17-20). Our words and actions are so important, whether online or off, because we’re not just portraying who we are to the world; we’re portraying who Jesus is.
If people know we’re Christians but we act like jerks online, they’ll think Jesus is a jerk.
If people know we’re Christians but we act like jerks in person or online, they’ll think Jesus is a jerk. If we’re selfish and unforgiving, they’ll think the same of Him.
Being separated by screens and pixels doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect anyone else. Our digital conversations have real-world consequences.
People online are watching. Regardless of their intentions, ours should be to point to Jesus through all our status updates, connections, and conversations (whether explicitly or not).
Four Constructive Ways to be a Christian on the Internet
1. Don’t post a perfect life.
When everything on your Facebook profile looks like the cover of a magazine, you’re pretending to be someone you’re not. No one of us has it all together.
If we’re outwardly put together but hide the struggles we’re dealing with, we’re pretending to be better than we are (Matthew 23:27-28). Being a Christian doesn’t automatically make everything easy or great. Life is still hard and we still have to wade through struggles, but Jesus is with us through those things. When we humbly admit we need help, God brings healing we need (2 Chronicles 7:14).
2. Don’t post angry.
When we turn to Facebook comments and thinly veiled tweets to vent our anger about something, we cross the line between fine and foolishness (Proverbs 29:11).
We drag God’s name through the digital dirt by angrily ranting about something or someone. Respect and courteous dialogue are essential to being a Christian online.
3. Post what you’re for.
Unfortunately, sharing negative perspectives often gets more attention online than positive ones. But if everyone is a critic, no one celebrates good things God does and the stories of lives being changed.
Complaining makes us less like Jesus (Philippians 2:13-15). Jesus spent more time showing what He was for than what He was against. Instead of complaining about our sins, Jesus did something about it (Romans 5:8).
Stand for something, not against everything.
4. Think before you post.
The more we talk, the more likely we’ll say something stupid -- or worse (Proverbs 10:19). Ask yourself a few questions before you post:
- Why am I posting this?
- What does this say about who I am?
- What does this say about who Jesus is?
If we listen to others and consider the implications of our actions, we’ll more accurately portray Jesus (James 1:19-20).