Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. ESV Colossians 4:5-6
On Thursdays we reflect on our relationships with others. My friends in my growth group asked some great questions the other night and together we looked in Scripture and gleaned some great principles that should guide our social media interactions as followers of Christ.
1- Conduct yourself wisely toward outsiders. Hopefully not all of your Facebook (or Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) followers are believers. As such, be careful what you post. Overly religious posts, especially judgmental or “in your face” kind of posts will not be well received by non-believers. You may think you are taking a stand for Christ when you are actually pushing people away from Jesus.
2- Make the best use of the time. Scrolling Facebook for 45 minutes in the morning before you complete your devotions is not a good use of time. An hour a day on Twitter is not worth it. Forget your Snapchat streaks. You have better things to do with your time. Sometimes the best thing for your spiritual formation is to get off social media.
3- Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt. Salt preserves. Our social media interactions should preserve what good can be saved in a fallen world. Secondly, salt makes thirsty. Our posts should be worded in such a way that they encourage people to interact with our message. Attacking sinners, making fun of political positions we disagree with, judgmental comments…these hardly entice others to listen. Finally, salt makes things taste good. Our posts, shares and comments should make the gospel enticing to others. We never compromise the gospel, but we work to make it as contextual and practical as possible.
4- Ask the Spirit for wisdom on how you ought to answer each person. Each of us will post different things. For some of us, posting only Christian stuff will seem hypocritical. Others of us need to post more about our faith. Sometimes we need to post about our family, our garden, our hobbies in order to build relationships and credibility. Other times we need to boldly share our faith. Each interaction is different and we must trust the Holy Spirit’s leading.
I hope these ideas from Colossians might enhance your impact on social media.