“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23)
It seems that virtually everyone has a Facebook account these days. Even my grandmother has one! For me, it has proven to be a useful tool for staying in touch with friends and family, sharing memories, sharing spiritual thoughts, and keeping up with current events. Sadly, as with most things, Facebook (and other social media outlets) is also used in ways that are less than appropriate…to say the least! While Facebook is used by some to stalk, scam, intimidate, and/or spew hatred, I want us to think about another dangerous way that some people are using it…as a mask.
I recently read a very good article by Max Dawson (which you can read here) in which he talks about the thorny soil described by Jesus in His parable of the sower (Matthew 13). The main point that Mr. Dawson brought out in his article is that the thorny soil is the most dangerous because it represents a Christian who is, by all exterior measures, living faithfully. In reality, though, they are choked by the cares of this world. In other words, they are most concerned with themselves (i.e. what appeals to their eyes, body, and ego – cf. 1 John 2:15-17).
The Bible warns us repeatedly against the danger of being a Christian “in name only.” One of the things that has always been remarkable to me about the final judgment scene that Jesus describes in Matthew 25 is that those who are labeled “goats” are condemned not for being murderers, adulterers, thieves, or idol worshipers (cf. Revelation 21:8), but for failing to actually do what Christ had called them to do; namely: loving their neighbors as themselves (cf. Matthew 22:34-40). What about you? What about me? Are we just pretending or are we truly walking in the footsteps of the Lord?
Is the person we portray ourselves to be on Facebook who we truly are?
- Do I apply God’s word to my everyday life and use it to guide my thoughts, meditations, and decisions OR do I just post Bible verses on my page so that others will perceive me to be religious?
- Do I pause and pray when I come across a friend’s post about a difficult situation they are experiencing OR do I type “praying” and then continue to scroll through my feed and forget all about their problems?
- Do I engage in conversations with people I meet from day to day regarding spiritual things OR do I limit any spiritual talk to comments and “likes” online?
- Do I legitimately look for opportunities to show love to those who need it OR do I only “share” articles about how important and appropriate such things are and hope others will put such advice into practice?
- Do I keep my own good accomplishments to myself OR do I look for good things to do only for the purpose of letting my right hand declare on Facebook how amazingly holy my left hand truly is so that I can relish in the “likes” and “loves?”
- Do I truly love God OR do I like the attention and sense of status I feel when others perceive me to love God?
Do you match up with the person that everyone sees on Facebook? If Facebook didn’t exist, would anyone even know that you believe in God or consider yourself to be a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ?
When you see Jesus face to face on the final day, will you be among those saying “Lord, Lord, have we not ‘liked’ in Your name, typed ‘praying for you’ in Your name, and shared many religious posts in Your name?”
Does He know you?
If every moment of your life were captured as a Facebook post…how many “likes” and “shares” would He give you?
In conclusion, let me clarify that “liking” and “sharing” religious posts on Facebook is not, in any way, intrinsically bad. In fact, if done for the right reasons, I think it is a very positive and useful thing to do! But, if we are just “playing Christian” on Facebook and living for ourselves in real life, then we need to make some serious changes! Remember that even the devil quoted Scripture when he tempted Christ in the wilderness (Luke 4). Even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19)! Let us all make sure that we are who we claim to be. It is the truth that will set us free (John 8:32)!
“My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)