Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right,
and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are
excellent and worthy of praise (4:8).
Have you ever stopped to consider what the apostle
Paul’s page might look like if he were on
Facebook? Friends with Peter. Status update: In
prison—again—but well worth it. Paul was tagged in Silas’
Album “Best of Missions Trip—Part 1.” Religious Views:
former anti-Christian, sanctified servant. It certainly does
offer some room for thought. Would he have “unfriended”
John Mark? Written words of rebuke on Demas’ wall?
Publicly criticized the Corinthian church in a note?
The online world has changed the church. But the
question remains as to whether the results have made our
relationships stronger or more volatile. As more and more
churches create online communities through tools such
as Twitter, interactive blog sites, and Facebook, the body
of Christ finds itself wrestling with issues the apostle Paul
didn’t have to face.
Or did he? (See Ecclesiastes 1:9.)
While the applications might be different because of
new settings created by advances in technology, the truths
of Scripture remain the same (Psalms 119:89). Narcissistic,
negative behavior didn’t begin with modern culture. In his
letter to believers in Philippi, Paul shows us that we must
crucify our regard for self in order to “press on to possess
that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed [us]”
(Philippians 3:12). Doing so will not only influence the
focus of our hearts but our behaviors in everyday life—including those online.
While people hold differing opinions on whether Facebook is a friend or foe,
the real issue rests with the human heart. Scripture clearly calls us to behave “like”
those whose hearts have been searched and tested by God (Jeremiah 17:9).
Moving in real time, online venues provide ample opportunity to be self-centered.
So before your next online post or comment, perhaps you should ask: Is it true,
honorable, right, and pure?
Read James 1:19 and consider why God’s Word makes a far better
mirror than Facebook.
How can online sites be a tool for encouragement? In what
ways can Facebook—or other online media—stir division in the body of