The Internet has carried the torch for instant gratification. With one click of a button, we can buy the latest video game, download the hottest album or purchase a stylish new pair of shoes.
We can have whatever we like!
And, even faster than buying a product online, we can also share our personal opinions in an instant. Social media users share images and articles that reveal opinions about politics, marriage, dating, raising children and many other facets of life. Social media can be a good way to have a laugh, encourage others or discuss current issues. However, many times posts can be distasteful and mean-spirited.
As Christians, we should be careful and thoughtful in posting and liking articles and memes. It says something about you!
Psychologist Michal Kosinski’s research has shown that your “likes” on Facebook can tell what kind of person you are. Kosinski argues that “likes” give Facebook a picture of who you really are.
Commenting about the study, Sam Gosling, a psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, says, “You ‘Like’ something. You leave a comment on somebody’s wall. They are now recorded in a way that machines can calibrate and measure them with great accuracy. Together, they add up to substantially more information from which you can make quite reasonably accurate predictions.”
Facebook spokesman Fred Wolens agrees. “No matter the vehicle for information—a bumper sticker, yard sign, logos on clothing, or other data found online—it has already been proven that it is possible for social scientists to draw conclusions about personal attributes based on these characteristics.”
What does God like?
When deciding what kind of article or meme to like or share, what better question for a Christian to ask than “What does God like?” In the Bible, you won’t find any dos and don’ts for using social media. However, there are some principles we can use to make wise choices when sharing or liking stories.
Let’s take a look at what God is in favor of.
God “likes” righteousness (right ways)
If God were a Facebook user, would He approve of the article you just posted? Would He and Jesus Christ “like” the same meme you just liked?
King David gave us a look into what God likes: “For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield” (Psalm 5:12). Jesus Christ also pointed out the importance of righteousness to God (Matthew 5:6; 25:46).
Have you ever stopped and considered what righteousness means? It sounds like a fancy theological word. But, if God blesses the righteous, wouldn’t we want to strive for that blessing?
The Bible tells us what righteousness is: “My tongue shall speak of Your word, for all Your commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172). Since God’s commandments are righteousness, it is obvious that Christians should follow and support His instructions. Furthermore, if we, like Abraham, faithfully do as God commands, our actions will also be accounted for righteousness (James 2:21-23).
Clearly, it is not only about thinking what is right—it’s also about doing what is right. In other words, righteousness is the application of right ways.
Putting this into the context of our activity on social media, what we like and share as Christians should coincide with these right ways defined by God. Please read the article “Armor of God: Breastplate of Righteousness” for a more detailed study of righteousness.