Over the course of the past weeks I have been thinking about social media and its benefits and its drawbacks. I use social media… I have a facebook and I even tweet occasionally, I even have an Instagram account that I have used once. Social media is a window into our souls. That is an interesting thought that social media, an outward expression and attempt to make ourselves look friendly, interesting and, may I say, appealing actually reveals the thing we are trying to hide, our souls!
In 1 Samuel 16 we have the account of God’s prophet-priest, Samuel searching for Israel’s next king. The first king, Saul, was a failed experiment. Saul looked the part, he acted like a leader but he was not king material. God directed Samuel to the home of Jesse, where Samuel met his sons, several of whom looked like “king material”. Samuel has to be reminded by God that God looks at the heart and it is what in a person’s heart that really matters. In verse 7 God says that man looks at and values the exterior of a person – things like looks, intelligence, perfect facebook posts or pasted on spirituality all appeal to us as we look at one another. God looks beyond all the façade to look at the heart of a person. This should make us all shake and cause us to evaluate our profiles on social media.
1. Social Media can be used to make us appear to be something we are not… Social media is a small window into someone’s life. It is a window that can be manipulated much like a window display for a department store. We can put out the words, the ideas that we wish to sell about ourselves.
2. Social Media often is used to make us appear like we wish we were on the inside. We often post things that we hope will be true in our lives. Sadly, making a facebook post is not the same as having character or the fruit of the Spirit in our hearts.
3. Social Media, just like spoken words, will reveal our hearts. Jesus said in Luke 6:45 that the words we speak come from the overflow of our heart. I am amazed at how “transparent” some will be on their social media accounts. We would all be wise to reflect on a post before hitting “send”.
If we spent as much time doing “soulwork” on our hearts as we put into working on our exteriors with social media posts, shared sermons, articles, pithy thoughts and memes, we would be far better off. You see, our facebook friends and twitter followers may be impressed by our exterior efforts, but our God looks at our hearts. Don’t close your social media accounts, but don’t give in the temptation to use them as “sales displays” either. Let’s use the gift of words for sake of the Kingdom of Heaven and for redemptive purposes.
What do you think?