I’ve got a riddle for you. What fits in a rectangle the size of a Pop-Tart, steals like a cat, can plunge like a knife or energize like caffeine, affects millions of people, and needs boundary lines to stay where it’s put?
Answer: your phone.
When it comes to social media, we all have questions: How should we use social media as Christian women? Where are the guidelines for how and when to be on it?
There’s not a Bible verse that says, “Thou shalt use social media in such-and-such a way.” However, the Bible is relevant for every time, place, and person, and it can show us how to use social media in a way that honors Jesus.
Let’s open God’s Word together to see how to avoid being overtaken by the social media epidemic and to instead use our media platforms (no matter how big or small) for good.
Don’t let social media steal from you.
When Jesus was on earth, He often went away from everyone and spent time in silence. The Bible also encourages us to create moments of silence to listen to the Lord.
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. (Ps. 62:1)
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. (Ps. 37:7)
Dietrich Bonheoffer, a Bible teacher who lived during World War II, said,
We flee silence. . . . We race from activity to activity to avoid having to be alone with ourselves for even a moment, to avoid having to look at ourselves in the mirror. We are bored with ourselves, and often the most desperate, wasted hours are those we are forced to spend by ourselves.
Are we fleeing silence? Do we ever just allow ourselves to be quiet before Jesus throughout the day, instead of filling our heads with little red hearts and follower counts? Social media can be a thief. Don’t let it steal your silence. When our silence is stolen, we often lose our joy and contentment too.
Put up fences.
If you’ve ever tried to grow a watermelon vine, you know that they stop at nothing. They grow through fences and over rock walls and into other flower beds. Social media is a little like that. It has the potential to overrun our lives, leaving us always longing for the satisfaction or fulfillment we imagine it will give us. We have to set up guidelines for ourselves. For example, you could decide to not allow yourself to get on until after noon, stay off altogether on Sundays, or set up a timer on your phone to let you know when you’ve reached a time limit. (Instagram also has a timer you can set up to notify you when you’ve spent a certain amount of time, which is a great way to keep yourself in check!)
The problem isn’t the app.
Whether it’s YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or any other platform, the truth is that those apps aren’t the problem. They’re just things that bring out what’s already in us. As humans, we look to social media to meet needs that can only be found in Jesus—hope for the future, identity, fulfillment, and worth. Are you left feeling a little deflated when you don’t get as many likes as you were hoping for, or when you scroll through hundreds of pictures of apparently perfect lives posted by other people? We can’t truly use social media well until we realize that our identity is found in Christ and that social media is just a tool we can use to spread the love of Jesus and inspire people to live their lives for His glory.
Second Corinthians 3:5 says, “Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.”
Where are you looking to feel sufficient, satisfied, like you are enough?
Social media is an incredible gift and a tool that can be used to build a business, make new friends, and share inspiration and beauty with others. Let’s use it in the right way and make a difference with the platform we have.
Let’s commit to using social media as a tool to showcase Christ and the gifts He’s given us, not as a ruler by which we measure our worth. Deal?
Do you have social media? Do you struggle with finding your worth in what you see there instead of in what Jesus says about you? Let’s talk in the comments!