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5 Things Christians Should Stop Doing on Social Media

I like social media. I enjoy following fellow Christian friends and keeping up with their lives. Over the years, though, I’ve made a few observations of some things that could have been better had they not made Facebook or Twitter or whatever. Unfortunately, some of these things are mistakes I have made, too

What are they? Below are five of them.

5 Things Christians Should Stop Doing on Social Media

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1. Judgmentally calling people out on their failures.

Church leaders fall. I’m sad to say it, but it happens a lot. My question is: why do we rush to celebrate their downfall?

Sure, Paul says to rebuke heretics, and Jesus says to watch out for wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing. But what I’m talking about are genuine, converted followers of Jesus who mess up. Why do we pounce on them?

Jesus says to pray and love your enemies. Your enemies.

If this is the way you are called to treat people who hate you, how much more for people you’ll see in eternity?

Pray for church leaders who fall. Observe and learn from their mistakes, and try not to make them yourself. But whatever you do, don’t bash them on Facebook. It’s just not godly.

2. Flippantly posting about cultural issues.

Homosexuality, the forthcoming presidential election, various racial tensions.

These are hot topics, and topics the world really, really cares about. So it’s not acceptable to say whatever you want, even if you’re right.

Because even if you have the right answers, if you post them in the wrong way, you’re wrong.

What do I mean?

I’m a truth guy. I love the truth and standing up for what’s right. But there’s a way of defending the truth that’s wrong: by being harsh, by being off-putting, by being inconsiderate.

It’s unattractive.

Paul reminds us: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

What you say is important. But how you say it is just as important. Right info with the wrong delivery will not convince people.

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt,” says Mark Twain. Think about this before you post about Donald Trump or Black Lives Matter or whatever.

3. Engaging in sharp discussions. 

You see this all-the-time on twitter.

Some argue about theological issues until they’re blue in the face.

Is this worth your time?

I mean, be right. Come to the correct understanding. Don’t back down from your convictions.

But why bash your brother or sister in Christ over 140 characters?

It’s fine to communicate. Let people know you disagree. Send them a tweet. But for goodness sake: don’t turn it into a major fiasco. “The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook,” William James observes. Sometimes you just gotta overlook certain things and move on.

As the old saying goes, never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, but the pig likes it (or something like that).

5 Things Christians Should Stop Doing on Social Media

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4. Grumbling. 

You’ve seen this before.

One of the biggest downfalls of social media is the negativity. And this is usually because of grumbling.

Paul says this to the Philippians: “Do everything without complaining or grumbling” (Philippians 2:14).

Everything.

Including social media posts.

We all have hard days. And when we do, we feel compelled to share it in order to fully express the frustration, something we can’t do if things are bottled in. This is the natural human tendency.

So do just that, but in a different way then the rest of the world: Next time you find yourself in the middle of a hard day, tell God, and then tell some trusted Christian friends.

We care. But it’s probably just not the best info for Facebook.

After all, grumbling on social media is an anti-evangelism strategy.

5. Trying to be like someone you’re not.

I confess I’ve done this before. I’ve posted pithy statements about prime issues that I didn’t care about just because I knew I would get a lot of “likes.” This is dumb.

I need to remind myself over and over that while I have a lot of things to improve, I don’t have anything to prove, and certainly not to anyone on social media.

How the world perceives me doesn’t matter because I’ve already been approved by the One who created it.

When it comes to social media — just be yourself. Your real friends — and God — will know when you’re faking it.

So have fun on social media. Check-in at your favorite places, post pictures of the kids, share hilarious cat videos. Let us in on a little bit of your life. But remember to use social media wisely, and let it not distract you from more important things. As John Piper says, “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from a lack of time.”

You might also like:

1. 20 Things Every Christian in Their Twenties Should Know
2. 11 Things Every Single Christian Should Know
3. 7 Mistakes I Made During A Very Busy Season of Life 

About David Qaoud

David Qaoud (MDiv, Covenant Theological Seminary) is associate pastor of Bethesda Evangelical Church in St. Louis, Missouri, and founder of gospelrelevance.com. His work has appeared on The Gospel Coalition, For the Church, and Banner of Truth. He lives in St. Louis with his wife and son. Learn more>

15 Replies

  1. Conviction for breakfast. Numbers 2,4,and 5 made me say ouch. I’ve been guilty of all three. The statement, “Grumbling on social media is an anti-evangelism strategy.” is so powerful in what it implies. I’m sitting here saying, “darn”. This post is so timely and this message is just what we need to hear.

    1. Thank you. #5 is the trap I fall in from time-to-time. Fear of man is a trap that doesn’t lead to anything good. Glad you found this to be encouraging.

  2. NomJ

    Thank you David for this thoughtful, well expressed piece. I’ve long thought that one of the quickest ways for North America to welcome a great spiritual revival, would be for the consciences of believers who use social media in embarrassing and hurtful — to the Body — ways, to be pierced to the quick. If they then took steps to ask forgiveness of those precious members of the Body that they have put down, gossiped about, or in some way slandered. . .
    So many don’t seem to realize how much their very efforts to protect, or teach, or inform others, actually hurts His Bride and grieves his Spirit tremendously, because of the ungodly or unwise ways in which this is done.
    Thanks again!

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful words. We need to be conscience of we what say because words have an eternal impact. Appreciate your insights.

  3. The pig quote reminded me of another: “never argue with an idiot. People watching might not be able to tell the difference. “

  4. ..i quit social media (approx year now), never looked back. 😉 ..instead i chose to download apps & webpages on my ipad of those who inspire me. 🙂

  5. Along the same lines as the wrestling with pigs:

    Don’t argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience

    Social media can be a great tool but it is to often abused.

    Good article.

    1. That’s a good one. Thanks for the encouragement.

  6. Gaye Austin

    David, excellent post. I reposted it on Bible.org FB page. Lots of good comments BTW! One reader added #6 always check your sources before reposting. I thought that was a best addition.

    1. Hi Gaye, thanks for sharing on that FB page! I checked it out and seems like it got a lot of engagement. Glad people found it helpful.

      1. Gaye Austin

        And more are finding it each day, it was a “keeper”…just think 44,000 people have seen this! Impressive! I enjoy following you and learning from you! Keep the posts coming.

  7. Rejoy

    David… Thank you for this post. I am Never gonna post some stuff randomly just to become famous.

    1. Good idea. And thanks for the encouragement.