Hash tag Jesus

Like many of you, I have a love/hate relationship with social media. On the love side, I think it's great catching up with old friends and seeing pictures of their beautiful families and cool family vacations. On the flip side, I will roll my eyes like a middle school girl at every single rant I am forced to endure about politics, mean people in your life, or how unfair Facebook is being with your privacy, even though you are choosing to use Facebook publicly and of your own free will. #Icansmelltheironyamileaway

Within the Christian culture, social media has become a platform that has been used extensively to express and abuse one's spiritual perspective. I, for one, truly enjoy posting Bible verses that have moved my soul, believing that sharing them is but one way for the truth of God to be proclaimed. Yet I have also been guilty in the past of using the internet to pick a fight with those who do not share my same faith-based perspective. Nothing like a good ol' online argument with an atheist about the existence of God, eh? #you'regoingtohell

Where should we draw the line with social media and our faith? Better yet, what would Jesus Tweet? #WWJT

As I pondered these questions I was in the midst of reading through Jesus' Sermon on Mount in the gospel of Matthew. In Matthew 6, Jesus gives warning to His disciples when it comes to how they express the spiritual disciplines, specifically giving, prayer, and fasting. In these verses, Jesus does not give a lecture on the nature of these spiritual disciplines but rather delivers a prescription on how we are to use them.

When you give, do so in secret so that only God sees what you are giving. When you pray, do so in secret so that only God hears you. When you fast, do so discretely so that your heaven Father is the only one who truly sees. The reasoning is clear: our devotion to God is for His glory and enjoyment, not so that we can receive the accolades of man. Do so in secret so that "your heavenly Father who sees in secret will reward you."

That kinda turns things around for us, huh? Obviously, if you Tweet or post anything about your faith, then it is not in secret (even if you have your privacy settings on "friends only"). So is it okay for us to post Bible verses or share intimate "God moments" online? Yes, but there are exceptions. #YesBut

I believe the issues rests on the attitude in which we post. In Matthew 6, we see Jesus taking specific exception with those who expressed their devotion to God for the sole purpose of being seen as more spiritual than they actually were. Seen in this light, if I post a verse of Scripture with the mindset that everyone who sees it on my page will think that I am some super-spiritual dude, then I am guilty of seeking personal devotion from others and not the glory of God. But if I post the same Scripture with the intent that it has spoken to my heart and I cannot keep it to myself, praying that it bolsters the soul of someone else or brings light in a dark place, then I am free to express that. #it'smorethansemantics

To this end I have to conclude that, although I cannot measure the heart and intent of anyone, I know that God can. If your goal is to see how many likes your pithy spiritual quote can get, then I believe you have your answer. Social media can be a wonderful tool to proclaim the beautiful truth of the gospel, but it can also be a powerful method to get more people to gather and worship at the altar of you. #postwisely

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