How do you feel when you stand before a crowd with all eyes on you? Do your palms get cold and clammy? Do you become nervous and anxious? Do you blush, tremble, shake, or get nauseous? Multiple sources indicate that 90 percent of all people deal with some level of stage fright (Vijai P. Sharma). So chances are pretty good that you deal with some degree of stage fright. However, this article is not about overcoming stage fright. Even though 90% of people deal with this issue, there is at least one stage where the vast majority of people feel no fright at all!
This stage is none other than Facebook. Last month, Facebook exceeded the 900 million active user mark. This means that there are potentially 900 million people able to watch you and see exactly what you say and do. Are you feeling a little bit of that stage fright coming back? Most people are very careful in front of a crowd but may not be on Facebook and other social media avenues.
God has always called His people to be different from everyone else (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 2 Timothy 2:21; etc). The question for us is, do our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest accounts reflect this? Here are several categories to consider:
What Do We Say and Post? Are there any words on our accounts that reflect a less than Christian behavior? Could someone look at our profiles and see bad language, gossip, slander, or other forms of crude and crass speech (2 Corinthians 12:20; James 3)?
What People and Activities Do We “Like” (Support)? Do we “Like” celebrities, athletes, artists or other people with trashy reputations? Do we support movies, music, TV shows, video games, or other things that are not Christ-like (Romans 12:2)?
What Pictures Are On Our Profiles? Do any pictures show us engaging in sin or other less than godly behaviors (Romans 13:13-14)? Do any pictures show us hanging with people or in places a Christians should not be (1 Corinthians 15:33)? Do any pictures of us or anyone else on our profiles display immodesty or promote lust (1 Timothy 2:9-10; Romans 13:13; Matthew 5:28)?
In Matthew 5:14-16, God has called us to be a light in the darkness. There is nothing further and more contrasting to darkness than light. Do the things we say, post, support, and depict on social media sites show that we are a light to this world, or show that we are dabbling in darkness? Potentially 900 million people can see what we put on our social media profiles depending on privacy settings. What kind of conclusions will they make about us? Will they even know we are Christians?
We must always be careful to be Christ-like in all parts of our lives. Whether it is out in public or online, may we always live by Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus…”