4 Things Christians Should Stop Posting on Social Media (Part 2)

Last week I posed this question: If all that non-Christians know of Christianity is what they see from Christians on social media, then what is their understanding of our faith?

Sometimes I’m surprised at what Christians post on their social media pages. Here are some types of posts that Christians should avoid sharing.

We then looked at the first of four types of posts that I think Christians should avoid posting on social media. Let’s examine the remaining types of posts today.

Things Christians shouldn’t share on social media

 1. Posts that ask others to type “amen,” like, or share

Click here to read last week’s post where I shared my thoughts on these.

2. Posts that are complaints or rants

Social media is a hotbed for complaining and ranting. Perhaps it is because we know we will receive attention from others or because we feel emboldened by the fact that we don’t have to look others in the eye when we share. Whatever the reason, complaints and rants are commonplace.

The Bible is clear that this is not how Christians are to communicate. We are not supposed to grumble and complain (Philippians 2:14, James 5:9, 1 Peter 4:9), but are supposed to be thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). I know it is frustrating when we receive bad customer service, when our cars have mechanical troubles, or when the kids are fussing, but we need to go to the Lord with these challenges, not post our frustrations for the world to see.

By the way, this doesn’t just apply to social media! We shouldn’t be complaining or going on rants in our face-to-face communications either.

3. Posts that contain gossip, urban legends, or rumors

There are many false accounts that routinely make their rounds on social media. Even though they aren’t factual, somehow social media users can’t resist hitting the share button! Examples range from the rumor that you have to post certain text as your Facebook status in order to protect your privacy and intellectual property rights to “news” stories about how onions are germ magnets and shouldn’t be stored once cut.

It’s important that we avoid spreading gossip, urban legends, and rumors because the Bible teaches us that we shouldn’t spread false reports or speak deceit (Exodus 23:1, Psalm 34:13). Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to avoid spreading misinformation on social media. We simply have to check sources and exercise common sense.

If you see an interesting news story, make sure it was published by a reputable news agency before sharing it. If you see a fascinating health tip, check to see who is sharing the information before pinning it. If you read a juicy tidbit about a celebrity or politician that seems too sensational to be true, then it probably isn’t true! Be skeptical of the things you read online and don’t share them if you are not confident they are true.

4. Posts that belittle or rebuke non-Christians and their perspectives

Sometimes we take upon ourselves the task of convicting non-Christians of their sins. However, this is not our role—it’s the role of the Holy Spirit (John 16:8). Moreover, it’s not even our place to judge those outside of the faith (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). This means that we shouldn’t use social media as a platform to rebuke non-Christians for their mistakes.

Don’t get me wrong here. I’m not saying that we should mutely stand by and watch our hurting world destroy itself. We can and should lovingly and respectfully express our opinions and engage in meaningful discourse. Just keep in mind that pointed tweets, scathing memes, and sarcastic status updates don’t qualify as meaningful discourse.

Final thoughts

As Christians, we should consider all of our posts in light of the following:

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 

In other words, we should ask ourselves if we are posting something that is just noise or if we are posting something that is loving and edifying. If it is the former, then we probably shouldn’t post it.

Are you familiar with the types of posts I’ve discussed above? How do you typically respond when you see these? Are there other types of posts you think Christians should avoid making on social media?

Shared at the following link parties:

Coffee and Conversation, Grace and Truth, Titus 2 Tuesday, and Faith Filled Wednesday.

Comments

  1. Shannon, I feel much the same. It makes me sad that we believers can be so unloving to a hurting world. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m not afraid to speak the truth even when it’s not popular, but we need to be wise, loving, and biblical when we do! Thanks for your wise advice. I’ll be pinning and posting this in the hopes that we will all be more prayerful about what we share.

    • Shannon says:

      That’s exactly my point here, Donna. It’s totally okay (and right) to share our opinions and thoughts, but we must do so in a loving way!

  2. I really appreciate you bringing up #3. It continually amazes me how many people-who talk about the importance of rejecting gossip “in real life”-will unthinkingly participate in social media gossip. I’ve probably done this myself sometimes, sadly! It seems that so many times, people will just click “share” because it’s easy, and not take the time to actually look into whatever the story may be. This doesn’t only apply to news stories, either. I recently saw a case where a meme asking for prayers for one person was spreading around Facebook-and only when I looked into the situation did I find that the information given in the meme was not completely accurate. So important to double check things!

    I would also add that, at least in some Facebook groups, it can be really easy to slip into the gossip regarding prayer intentions. It’s important to be vulnerable with others and ask them to pray for us and our needs, but all too often, I’ve seen people use a prayer intention as an excuse to suddenly start venting or gossiping about another person, which is awful! It’s very important for us to be discerning on how much information we reveal online and why we reveal it.

    • Shannon says:

      Hi AnneMarie,
      It does take a little extra effort, but it really is essential that we take the time to verify information before we share it.
      Great reminder about prayer requests! There often is a very fine line between prayer requests and gossip. We must always check our motives before sharing a request and make sure it is our place to share and that we are truly seeking prayer…not trying to pass along gossip. Thanks for pointing this out!

  3. Love many of your thoughts I was wondering your opinion on prayer requests. If you are going through a hard time and you ask for friend to pray for your needs what do you think on this

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Angie,
      If you, personally, are going through a tough time and want to share and ask for prayer, I think that is totally okay. However, as I noted above, we must check our motives. Are we asking for prayer because we really need it or because we want an excuse to complain, get attention, or gossip about a situation? If we are genuinely seeking prayer, then it is okay. Also, always keep in mind that there are ways to ask for prayer that don’t involve social media. If you feel more comfortable with it, you can always call friends to ask for prayer, send text messages/emails, or ask in person.
      If the prayer request is for someone else, then you definitely want to make sure it is okay with him or her that you share about the need.

  4. overcoming says:

    Hi Shannon ,
    I try not to involve myself with any social media… I don’t have a Facebook account, no twitter ( the only one I want to follow is Jesus), instagram etc. I don’t have cable or smartphone. It really takes time away from things that have eternal value… I don’t feel like I’m missing out.. My land line suits me fine, and I have an emergency prepaid phone when I need it. No wifi, my desk top has a wired connection and I like it that way. I feel that social media is a lot about of creating an “image” that is worldly at times. God created us in His image and we are called to reflect His image and glorify Him. It is really freeing.

    Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
    Ephesians 5:15-16

    • Shannon says:

      I agree that social media can consume huge amounts of time (time we should spend on other things) and that for many people it is about creating an “image.” I think it is great that you have thought through these issues and have followed your convictions to abstain from social media. Thanks for sharing about your decision and for sharing the Bible verse–it is a great one to use as a filter when choosing how to use our time!

  5. Debbie @ Bible Fun For Kids says:

    Very, very good points! I wish all Christians would be more careful with what they write or share. I especially do not like the ones that demand for me to like, share, etc. if I believe. Thanks for sharing these reminders!

If this is your first time commenting or if something in your text triggers a spam filter, then your comment will be held for moderation and will not be visible immediately. It will be visible as soon as I am able to approve it. Thanks for joining in the conversation!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Sweet Little Ones.  The second, by Shannon on Of the Hearth, is a good reminder for all of us, as Christians to watch what we post on social media.  And the last, also along the social media lines, is by Morgan of Morgan Manages Mommyhood who […]

Join the Conversation

*