If you’re like me, then your Facebook “likes” section is filled with a multicolored, unorganized, highly assorted mix of different things. If you’d take a peek at this page, you would run into things like sports pages (the NBA of course), politics and news pages (not just Fox News), food pages, blogs, movies, theologians, and so much more. On top of that, I looked through my page and realized that I am following a whole page dedicated to APPLE JUICE. Can you believe that? And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a post from them on my feed.
Anyway, social media is here to stay, and it won’t be going anywhere for awhile. So it is beneficial for us as believers to learn how to redeem our time on social media. I know there are many of us, like myself, who struggle with spending too much time on it. And if this is an idol in your life, then there must be a different discussion about your usage. This, however, is not a post about the possible dangers of social media, but on how social media can be of benefit to you and your maturity in Christ.
Maybe the solution is not just to “abstain” from our feed, but to “sanctify” our feed. We don’t want to make a habit out of compartmentalizing our Christian life. As Paul said, Christ needs to be first place IN everything and not just certain portions of our lives (Colossians 1:18). First place at work, at school, at home, at the movies, and even at your computer. We need to know that Christ can and must be first place in Facebook too.
What we flood our minds is what will dwell upon our hearts. These things we will treasure in our lives and fill our joy. There is no reason why we can’t incorporate biblical truth into one of the places where we spend a great amount of time. Hopefully this will help us sanctify our news feed and fill it with things that will help and maybe equip us as Christians. These suggestions may not apply for everyone, but they may be helpful ways to have a Proverbs 1:5 approach to our social media, so that “a wise man will hear and increase in learning,”even on Facebook.
1. Follow Sound Christian Ministry Pages – Liking pages of Bible-driven pastors and preachers will most likely produce edifying content and Scripture (posts, recommendations, insights, etc.). There are godly men with more public platforms and ministries that are doing great work for the Gospel (Mark Dever, John Macarthur, . Look for sound organizations (Desiring God, Grace to You), blogs (The Gospel Coalition), Christian music (Keith and Kristyn Getty, Sovereign Grace), and church pages that you know gives good solid Bible content and discussions on spiritual things. (This may call for another blog for as a resource page).
2. Follow Christian Academic Pages – There are a wide variety of academic pages out there. For example, following pages from different seminaries allows you to be somewhat up to date with what is going in the world of theology and Christian academics. Some seminaries (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, The Master’s Seminary, etc.) will post blogs, vlogs, articles, and even chapel messages that may be helpful. If you like Christian publisher pages (Baker, Zondervan, Eerdmans), then you may find good deals on discounted books or ebooks that you can share with others (or buy for yourself!). Staying up to speed with new releases on books can also be a benefit. (Use discernment!)
3. Follow Christian People – There are many theologians and writers out there who are posting really good things. You can even look up old Christian dead guys (Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Watson) from church history where people will post (sometimes daily) quotes from their books. By the way, if you have solid believing friends, follow them too. You’ll never know what kind of devotional insights they may post.
4. Follow News/Politics Accounts/Pages – On the surface, this does not sound sanctifying, since it seems that news and politics pages only bring bad news and never any good news. However, it may be helpful to follow a couple of these just to keep yourself aware of what is going on in the world, society, and politics. This will keep your mind sharp when it comes to apologetics and evangelism. It is a good exercise to approach every story with “What does the Bible say about this?” or “How should a Christian biblically respond to this post?” This will sharpen us to better engage the culture with the Gospel.
5. Unfollow Distracting Hobbies – For some this isn’t an issue, but for others, this is an area of weakness. Maybe our Instagram and Facebook is full of “time-wasting” material where we can get lost for hours. It might be time that we limit, remove, unlike, or unfollow such accounts either temporarily until we get stronger or even permanently. This is not to be legalistic, but just to be wise in redeeming the time (Eph 5:16). You know where you’re weak, and you know what takes up your time. Again, this may not be applicable to all, but it could be necessary for some.
6. Community Pages – On Facebook, people have started community group pages for my city. It is a place where people can connect about community gatherings, current events, and even public safety. Groups like this help you to stay informed about what is going in your community. It’s importance for us to be aware of what is happening and to be involved, so that we can even plan on reaching out to our communities with the Gospel. Try searching for groups and pages like this to add to your feed.
Remember, these aren’t hard and fast rules to follow. You must to use discernment on how to apply each of these principles to your feed.This post is not about removing all the “unsanctified likes” or the “pagan pages,” or even “unfriending” unbelievers (how would we share the Gospel?). The purpose of this post is to suggest a way for us to use our social media as a means of feeding us good and edifying content that helps us to bear fruit. These tips can help you redeem your time on social media, so that it can edify you and further your knowledge of Christ and the Scriptures.
So maybe we don’t need to forsake social media; we just need to harness it for the glory of God.