Posted by: pastortomvabeach | July 30, 2018

Thought for the Week August 5, 2018

Jarrod Jones is the pastor of Grace Community Church, in New York. Three of his staff pastors have their roots in Christian Chapel. Last week I came across a recent blog post he wrote about how to monitor what we post on social media. I have thought for a long time that Christians, if we want to have any hope of Making Jesus Known to our friends, family, co-workers, etc. (social media contacts), need to be very careful with what we post or share on social media. I think pastor Jarrod has hit on some pretty good guidelines, maybe guardrails, that would be very helpful to all of us. Since his blog is lengthy, I am going to share half of it this week and the other half next week. Here for your consideration is 6 Things You Need To Do Before Posting On Social Media, by Jarrod Jones, Pastor of Grace Community Church.

“Plato, at his best: ‘Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.’ And Solomon, at his: A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. (Proverbs 18:2). Regarding social media, I’ve fallen into the fool camp more often than I’d like to admit. I’ve been self-righteous, tone-deaf, and insensitive at times. In turn, it brought regret, hurt, and confusion. So, I sought understanding. I landed on six things I need to do before I post anything on my social media. I hope you find it helpful.

“Before you post words, imagery, comments, or article-shares on social media, do the following:

”1. Check yourself. Where are you emotionally? How’s your heart? What’s your motive? The Psalmist urges us to go to God before our words get us into trouble: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14). Are you exaggerating? Is what you’re posting or sharing completely true? Did you check the facts? Is the source biased? Did you share the article because of the title but not carefully read it through?

“Is the post really necessary? Consider this: Have you ever been convinced by losing the argument? Have you ever been convinced by anyone’s posts, comments, and shares on social media, period? Have you ever been convinced by passive-aggressive imagery, tags, and such on social media? Have you ever been convinced by square quotes, italicized, emboldened, or ALL CAPS words?

“What’s your priority? Today’s cause you champion? Or the cause of Christ? Making your point? Or maintaining peace? You can make your point but lose your relationship. Is it worth it?

”2. Reflect on your audience: Have you thought carefully about who sees your social media? Take a minute and scroll through your friends/followers. Picture the faces of family and friends in your social media and relational world. How will it make them feel? Have you put yourself in their shoes?

“By the way, this is not about being politically correct, living for other’s opinions, or being afraid of what others think of you. It’s about honoring your God. God speaks a lot about the tongue, the mouth, and words, throughout Scripture. It’s a big deal to Him. Jesus even said we’ll be held accountable for every word we say [and write, I’m sure] (Matthew 12:36). Also according to Jesus, it’s about being a peacemaker (Matthew 5:9). The Apostle Paul adds: If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. (Romans 12:18).

“It’s about humility. Humility in valuing others above ourselves, not looking to our own interests but to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-40). In fact, what view will they have of you as a result of your post/comment/share? What might be their takeaway of how you view them? Even if you mean well, the odds are against you. You will be more misunderstood than understood.

”3. Get advice: The wisdom writer states, Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles. (Proverbs 22:23). How to guard our social media against bringing trouble and regret? When in doubt, don’t. Or at least get advice before you do.

“Many times, I have run blog posts, social media content, and emails by my wife Christie and people that I trust and respect for their sound counsel. They have saved me from a world of hurt that I’d have caused myself and/or others. It’s best that we don’t trust ourselves, especially if we are too close to a topic and provoked by it and by people who support it. Do you have family and friends that you could have look at your content before you post? Better yet, do you have family and friends that could look at your social media right now to give you honest feedback?”

That’s the first three ideas or guidelines. I think they have great merit. I’ll post the other three next week with my thoughts about the matter. Meanwhile, think about it. God bless.

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