“The media has a negative influence on my relationship with God and others, but its benefits are worth it.”
If we asked you to agree or disagree with that statement, what would you say? (Be honest!)
When we pitched that same question at thousands of girls during the research phase for Lies Young Women Believe, a whopping 98% agreed with it. Amazingly, they knew their media usage did some damage in their walk with Christ, but they thought it was worth it anyway.
Here’s a newsflash . . . it is possible to honor God and others online. In fact, here are ten specific ways you can shine online.
10. Post pics of creation.
Have you seen a beautiful sunset lately? Spotted a pretty bird or a beautiful butterfly? Rather than filling your feed with selfies, why not point others toward the Creator through Twitter and Instagram.
Here’s a verse you can use to accompany your pics.
“All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made” John 1:3.
9. Post a verse a day
Social media provides an awesome opportunity to share Scripture with a wide audience. Post verses that you read in your own quiet time each day or simply choose a verse that matters to you and post it.
8. Don’t talk in code.
“I wish some people would stop acting like they’re better than me.”
“Spent all day dreaming about him.”
“She is getting on my nerves.”
Talking in code about people doesn’t mean you’re not talking about people. Did you know that the Bible specifically tells us that when we have a problem with a person, we are to approach them one on one? It’s true!
Matthew 18:15 says, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.”
If someone has hurt you, talk to them about it face to face, not in cryptic messages online.
Still think those vague messages are a good idea? Check out Matthew 5:37.
“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No;’ anything more than this comes from evil.”
In other words, say what you mean and mean what you say. Ditch the passive-aggressive stuff.
7. Honor the ‘rents.
God asks you to honor your parents as part of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:12). Make a commitment never to bash your parents online, but don’t stop there! Give your parents access to your social media, and then make it a point to publicly share your love and respect. Here are a few tweets you can fill in the blanks with.
I have the best parents ever! (Include a cute pic of the fam.)
I love my mom because . . .
Thanks, Dad, for . . .
I love it when my parents . . .
6. Only build up.
Ephesians 4:29 gives us this rule: if it doesn’t build others up, don’t say it. Make it a point to be an encourager online. Is there a Christian band you love? Tell them about it on Twitter. Are you reading a great book? Share why you love it! Did your friend do something awesome? Congratulate her on her Facebook wall. Actively look for opportunities to build up and encourage others online.
5. Zero grumbling.
Philippians 2:14 says to do all things without grumbling or complaining. Don’t use your social media as a place to vent.
4. Brag on your church.
Social media is a great place to showcase your excitement about your church. Post pics of your latest youth trip or invite others to an upcoming event. Make it a point to give an impression of your church that makes others want to come. (By the way, I found some pretty awesome tweets that used the hashtag #ilovemychurch)
3. Be a trendsetter.
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12).
You can set the example for others in the way that you talk online. Instead of lowering the bar by saying things online that you would never say in person, why not raise the bar? Be a trendsetter by creating a higher standard in what you say and post online.
2. Model modest fashion.
We’ve all seen plenty of selfies of girls in skimpy tank tops with pouty lips, but you know what I haven’t seen much of? Girls rocking cute, modest clothes!
Forget the sexy selfies. Show off your cute, modest outfits and naturally beautiful smile.
1. Be you!
You don’t have to create a persona online designed to impress others. Don’t make compromises online that you would never make in person. You can be confident to just be yourself online (and in person) because you are already loved and accepted by Jesus, and He wants to use your life to show others about Him.
He said so in Matthew 5:14–17.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
How can you use social media to be a light for Jesus in our dark world?