Social media is a powerful tool. Welcome or not, it’s become a common thread in the fabric of our lives and influences many. That being said, I was reminded this week of something I want to pass along. You see, there was a subject I considered writing about; but after honest reflection, I stopped because my approach failed the test. I call it the “3 Question Test” and it helps me stay on track (at least somewhat). You may want to develop your own, but here’s how it goes for me.
1. “What’s my motive?” – Am I sharing an encouraging or affirming word? Am I passing along something I’m learning? Or does the “Like” button motivate me more than I want to admit? It’s a subtle little thing, but its presence (like “retweets” and “sharing”) can influence subject, tone and content. It can even involve forgoing a post for fear of not getting “likes” and appearing foolish.
2. “Am I Whining?”– Nobody enjoys whiners. Whether it’s personal, business or spiritual, the temptation to vent frustrations can destroy credibility, friendships and opportunities to share what Christ is doing in my life. Yes, as a Christian, I should be ready to share God’s truth unapologetically, but in an authentic spirit of love (Eph. 4:15, I Peter 3:15).
3. “Do I value my opinion too much?” -I like my own opinion (as most of us do), but it isn’t always important. Contrary to pop-culture, all opinions are not equal and certainly not always welcome. With comment boxes everywhere, we sometimes offer answers to questions not asked. When in doubt, the old saying, “silence is golden” fits well.
The Bible teaches that I’m the temple of the Holy Spirit, a part of Christ’s Body, and not my own (I Corinthians 6:19 & 12:12-27), so ultimately the goal should be to represent Christ well. To be certain, there are times for boldness, subtlety, forgiveness, humor and encouragement, but all should be in agreement with Christ’s model. My prayer is to know when the proper times are for each and simply let the rest go.