“Don’t trust everything you read on the internet.” – Abraham Lincoln
I love funny quotes like this because, at their heart, they’re absolutely true. Without some kind of research or deeper dive, I don’t actually know who said this or if it’s true. As a student of history, thankfully, I’m able to quickly recognize that Lincoln did not tweet this out to the internet.
We live much of our lives on the internet now. We work in it, play on it, and communicate with it. And where we live is where we learn. There are so many quotes being shared by friends of mine that raise an eyebrow. Sometimes they’re blatantly aggressive, but sometimes they’re just… off. And if I’m not sure why what they said feels off, then I need to go to Scripture for wisdom.
Many of these quotes espouse beliefs or values that, if we took a moment to discern what’s being said, are counter to what we actually profess through our faith. I think all of us would like to think we’re immune to corrupt teaching. But what if we have already unwittingly subscribed to this teaching and are now distributing it widely via social media to all of our friends and family?
If I am to be active on social media and openly profess to be Christian, then I have a duty to measure every word carefully. Do my words glorify Christ? Do they bring honor to others? Am I speaking in love or is my tongue being wielded as a double-edged sword? Am I proclaiming something that echoes Jesus, or am I echoing someone else?
Of course, we are all trying to figure out how to do this 21st century life well. But just know that, like it or not, if we are Christians on social media, we are using an evangelistic tool. And we will either point people toward Jesus or away from Him.
If you’re on social media, go back and read your last five posts. Measure each one with sober judgment, and decide if it should remain on your page or be deleted. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you with this task.