From politics to parenting, our world is not short on opinions. In fact, at the end of the day, I doubt anyone goes to bed thinking, “I wish I knew just one more thing about how someone else is thinking.”
The joys of social media: a fantastic tool in the hands of some, and a landmine that can blow at any moment in the hands of others.
As someone with a platform (not near as large as most), I used to struggle with what I should share and what I shouldn’t share. I came up with three guidelines that have helped me, and I hope they are valuable to you as you seek discernment in sharing on social media.
Guideline #1: If my opinion is different than God’s opinion, I’m wrong.
Isaiah 55:8-9 remind us, “’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’”
Basically, God is reminding us here that we’re not going to ever understand fully what He does or why He does it. So whether we like His way or not, whether it feels good or not, whether we just can’t understand why He would ever orchestrate something to work that way…it doesn’t matter.
He is God, and we are not.
He has infinitely more wisdom than we will ever be able to fathom. We are like infants in the arms of a loving parent with our God. He wants what is best for us, even if we don’t understand it in the moment. Even if we can’t understand His ways, we can trust His ways.
If we spent less time trying to twist His Word into an argument to support our flawed and limited views and more time just submitting to Him fully, we would have much less frustration.
Let’s stop trying to rationalize our opinions and just lean on His truth. “Because I said so” with God is valid enough reason to hush and trust Him.
So to save myself embarrassment later, if I ever have an opinion that I can’t back up with God’s Word, I leave it for my prayer journal, not Facebook.
Guideline #2: If what I post is going to cause disagreement among Christians, it’s not an issue for public forum.
There are certain issues that trigger emotional responses. Whether it’s due to differing levels of spiritual maturity or a personal pain point, any time that issue is brought up, it’s going to create division and dissension among believers.
Paul addressed this issue in I Corinthians 1. He wrote “I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters, by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no division in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose” (vs. 10).
Paul pretty much said, “Focus on Jesus, not yourselves. If you guys don’t get along, don’t you think that plants doubt in the minds of people who haven’t heard about Him yet?”
When we bicker publicly, (and yes, even if you’re a believer and addressing believers on your social media pages, we can’t think think non-believers won’t see it), all we do is give reason people to doubt Jesus.
And that’s a Kingdom cost none of us should be willing to pay.
Guideline #3: If I have to shame or belittle someone else to make my point, my point needs work.
There have been plenty of times when someone else’s actions have triggered something God has taught me that I’ve felt led to share. In fact, this very post stemmed from a conversation I had over someone’s confusion after a social media post she saw from a Christian leader.
But it’s not necessary for me to call that person out by name. And that issue doesn’t need to be addressed here either.
Real truth doesn’t have to step on toes to resonate. Truth can stand alone.
So until I can make my point with only the truth…no emotion, no name-calling, no passive-aggressiveness…I’m not ready to make my point yet.
Timing is also sensitive. If there’s someone else who follows you on social media who knows about a disagreement between you two or a circumstance in your life, give it some time before you share. Sharing that wound too soon can be very passive aggressive if you know that person will see it and know you are talking about them.
Be the bigger person, and make sure you’re sharing out of God’s conviction, not to tell them how you really feel in a discrete enough way so you could cover your tracks in case they were to call you out.
Final thoughts: I’m not telling you not to share your opinion. But, do consider a few things first before sharing your opinion. These guidelines help me make sure my opinion rests on God’s authority, advances the Kingdom, and doesn’t cause harm or shame anyone else.
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