It’s interesting being a Christian in a social media world. I feel that especially as a Christian blogger. It’s such a balance. There’s so much you want to say, and in some ways, the Internet gives you full permission to say anything.
But it’s kind of dangerous, too. It’s an open forum for sharing (or shouting) your opinion. It’s an easy place to feel bold and powerful enough to say something through a screen that you wouldn’t to someone’s face. I’ve been on both sides of this, and neither one feels good. Maybe it feels good in the moment to launch your opinion. But the consequences range from feeling guilty to actual, physical consequences.
Last week, I heard about two court cases where words absolutely mattered. In one, a blogger was sued for slandering a business on social media and on the news. Ultimately, the court ruled that she and her husband were guilty of destroying this business, mostly through online behavior.
In another case, a young girl was found guilty of verbally pressuring her boyfriend through text message (and possibly other ways) to commit suicide. They ruled that she is partially responsible for his death.
I’m not writing this to give an opinion on these situations or their outcomes. (Although I’m wrestling through feelings about them, trust me.) But I can’t help but take these things to heart. Words are powerful. They make a difference. So how can I use my voice online for good, and not evil?
I want to encourage you, if you’re a follower of Christ. We can make a difference in what we say online. How? Through the Word. The power of man’s words is obvious in those two instances above, and in so many more. So can you imagine how much more powerful God’s Word must be?
Let me remind you of some of the claims the Bible makes about itself:
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edge sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12 (NIV)
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
“There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.” – John 12:48-49 (NIV)
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:10-11 (NIV)
“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you – they are full of the Spirit and life.” – John 6:63 (NIV)
“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” – Romans 10:17 (NIV)
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” – Isaiah 40:8 (NIV)
And so much more. We can take so much confidence in God’s Word. We can be a light online, and share words that give hope, that build up, that encourage, that connect. It means so much that God provides what we need to be able to do that, and it doesn’t have to come from us.
Even when we doubt the Word and where it comes from, we have what we need. Jesus says if we choose to live it, we’ll find out if it’s true. I think this is the thing that is the most comforting to me. Truth is shown by its fruit. We see a difference just by applying it to our lives.
“Jesus answered, ‘My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.'” – John 7:16-17 (NIV)
“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'” – John 8:31-32 (NIV)
It can feel frustrating to try to represent Jesus online. No one does it perfectly. (Talking right at myself, too.) But we do have what we need, and we can make a difference by using the perfect Word we have. Man’s words hold power – but God’s Word incredibly more so.
What scriptures help you feel empowered through the Word?
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