Life's busy, read it when you're ready!

Create a free account to save articles for later, keep track of past articles you’ve read, and receive exclusive access to all RP resources.

Browse thousands of RP articles

Articles, news, and reviews with a Biblical perspective to inform, equip, and encourage Christians.

Get Articles Delivered!

Articles, news,and reviews with a Biblical perspective to inform, equip, and encourage Christians delivered direct to your inbox!

AA
By:

3 reasons to praise God for social media

As a default, I tend to call attention to the problems that social media, and our relationship with it, has introduced into our lives. Social media has a grip on our hearts and minds in countless, ever-evolving ways, and it is important for us to keep up with that. So much of it is harming us in ways we don’t see.

All of that being true, I think it is also important to also recognize the goodness of God and all that we do enjoy because of the social Internet. It really isn’t all bad! And we do well to be reminded of this.

With all of that, here are three reasons I think we can praise God for social media: 

1) We can see the work of God around the world

Isn’t it amazing that social media has afforded us the opportunity to see the ways God is working around the world? In the days before the Internet, to learn of God’s work in Spain or South Korea or South Africa would have required a personal connection with someone in those parts of the world – perhaps our church sent a missionary abroad or a friend from college chose to serve the Lord in a different part of the world and we joined their mailing list.

Today, we can see the amazing work of God around the world by browsing the Internet, joining email lists of missions organizations, or simply engaging with brothers and sisters in Christ on our preferred social media platforms. Sure, an ever-present opportunity to be aware of the work of God in the world can tempt us to be overly-concerned with matters that are out of our control, but what a grace of God to be able to see his hand move across the world in such miraculous ways simply by scrolling on the screens in our hands!

God is always at work in every corner of the globe. He is eternally interested in revealing the fullness of his glory so that ever-increasing numbers of people can come into contact with his goodness and trust him as their God rather than themselves. The Internet, and social media in particular, have given us the ability to peek into how God is doing this all around the world in a way no one in history has had before. So cool.

2) We can connect with like-minded followers of Christ

As I mentioned above, one of the ways we can learn of the ways God is working around the world is simply by connecting with brothers and sisters in Christ on social media.

Of course, one of the saddest effects of the social Internet on Christians is that it enables our desire to meddle, gossip, and wield our virtual tongues in ways that do not honor the Lord. I am guilty of using social media to hurt others with my words, as are most of us, I’m sure. This is a real sin of which we ought to repent, too – hurtful online speech is no less real than in-person hurtful speech.

But what an amazing grace of God it is when we use social media to connect with other believers not to debate theology or call into question their faith, but build one another up through encouragement, prayer, and fellowship!

I am grateful to God for how social media has acted as a way to keep in touch with brothers and sisters across the world or from past periods of my life when we lived close to one another. And, at the same time, I am grateful for all the relationships the Lord has given me that have almost exclusively taken place through various social internet avenues. There are dozens of brothers and sisters in Christ I have interacted with on Twitter or Facebook or elsewhere that I will not meet until we dine together at the marriage supper of the Lamb. How amazing is that?! Praise God for such an opportunity.

3) We can study the beliefs and culture of all kinds of people.

I don’t know about you, but I love learning. I read all kinds of books. I like reading books about U.S. presidents. I like reading books about business moguls like John D. Rockefeller (which I’m reading right now). I like reading books about social media. I like reading books about God’s work in our lives.

On top of reading books about all kinds of subjects, I love accidentally falling down what are often called “Wikipedia Rabbit Holes” – maybe you’ve experienced this! You find yourself on one Wikipedia page, then another, then another, and before you know it you’ve wasted an hour! But that time is so often not wasted! Just the other day I was researching some famous criminal who came up in conversation, which then led me to a Wikipedia page about one of the highest security prisons in the world. It was so fascinating! I learned a lot.

How cool is it that we can use the Internet to learn? Even more specifically, we can use social media to learn! Social media doesn’t just have to be all about political arguments and funny cat videos. Simply by spending time on social media and interacting with people who are unlike you, you can learn about how different people live, believe, and see the world. Maybe you’ll never make it to India and experience the richness of Indian culture, but if you happen to connect with an Indian person on social media, you could engage in conversation with them about what they believe, what a typical day looks like for them, and learn how their life is different from yours.

Social media has afforded us the opportunity to have a much more diverse, well-rounded perspective on the world. Of course, when we engage with people who hold different worldviews or systems of belief, we don’t have to adopt their perspectives, but the more we can learn about other people and perspectives the more we can question our own and grow! If we are intentional, we can really learn a lot by scrolling on social media. It doesn’t have to be all about consumption and entertainment. 

Remember to praise God

I really try hard to keep up with the ways social media is evolving so that I can write helpful articles that caution us against blindly adopting every new and latest social media trend. We need to be more careful about how we use social media.

But cynicism and unhealthy negativity can so easily creep in when I constantly study the harmful effects of social media. It is important to remember to praise God for the goodness He shows us in these small provisions.

Any peek we can get into the workings of God in the world is amazing. Praise God for the tools he gives us to see him work and make much of his name.

This is reprinted with permission from Chris Martin’s Terms of Service newsletter which looks at the social internet from a Christian perspective. You can sign up to it for free. He has just published his first book, “Terms of Service: the Real Cost of Social Media,” which is available at Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.


Up Next


Internet

Censorship isn't Christians' biggest social media problem

...but we usually act like it is. ***** Not so long ago, I was having a conversation with someone about why I write so much about Christians’ concerning relationship with the social internet. This person has some insight into Christian organizations, how they are led, and why they often focus on the issues they do. He said to me, in paraphrase, “It’s a lot easier to get Christians to care about and give money to combat social media censorship than it is to get them to care about how social media is forming our hearts.” I was frustrated by what this guy said, but I couldn’t refute it. I’ve been on the radio every other week for the last seven years, most of that time to talk social media, and I’ve been privileged to speak to groups on these topics too. What I’ve found is that lots of Christians are concerned about social media censorship. Too few are concerned about social media discipleship. This isn't surprising. We are more interested in the ways we can form the world than we are with the ways the world is forming us. This isn’t to say social media/internet censorship isn’t a problem. It certainly is. But I worry that we as Christians are more interested in protecting our expression than we are our hearts. Outrage sells Frankly, if I’m being 100% honest, I think a lot of Christians/Christian organizations focus on social media censorship and alleged suppression of Christian ideals because it raises more money than the alternative. But I’m more cynical than I should be, so that perspective could just be the cynicism talking. But it makes sense doesn’t it? People get more fired up about the “oppression of censorship” than they do a discipleship crisis. And when people get more fired up, they’re going to give more money. Just a couple of weeks ago, the MIT Technology Review reported Facebook’s internal data that 19 of the top 20 Christian Facebook pages are actually not run by Christians trying to encourage other Christians with gospel truths – they’re troll farms run by Eastern European internet mobs that use encouraging Christian(ish) messages to manipulate and deceive Christians who don’t know any better. The Internet is making fools of us. It’s leading us to hate one another more than love one another. It’s warping our understandings of authority and truth and beauty and love and purpose. It’s ripping churches, families, and countries apart. In the face of all of these harsh realities, why are we so much more concerned with a platform suppressing our opinions about social issues? Because we want the world to adhere to a standard of faith we are increasingly neglecting ourselves. What’s wrong with the world? I am Christians’ biggest social media problem isn’t censorship – it’s discipleship. But the oppositional posture afforded by the image of fighting the secular, Jesus-hating culture and their efforts to suppress the issues Christians care about most is too lucrative to ignore in an effort to address the ways our relationship with social media is warping our own hearts. In short, “the culture” makes for a better enemy than does our own heart. “They” are out to get us by suppressing our speech, nevermind what we’re doing to ourselves by scrolling Facebook for four hours a day. It’s like we’re hyper vigilant about the possibility of our homes being broken into as we burn them down ourselves. This originally appeared in Chris Martin’s "Terms of Service" newsletter and is reprinted here with permission.  “Terms of Service” looks at the social internet from a Christian perspective, and you can sign up at www.termsofservice.social. “Terms of Service” the book will be published on Feb. 1, 2022, and you can pre-order it here....


We Think You May Like