“…that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of their deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him who is the head- Christ….”
Like no generation of women ever before us, we live our lives through pictures and updates and funny stories in a public forum. We are constantly notified on each other’s children and jobs and weight losses and date nights. We see and we are seen, though in reality, are not known. At least, not from that arena.
I took a social media fast during Lent this year and have found a very slow return to it as a result. One very specific question rumbled about in my heart after the 40 day absence from posting and filtering and scripting and editing the public version of my life.
Is this being done in love?
Paul is very clear in Ephesians that deception and falsehoods are oppositional to love. He goes on to say communication should be purposeful- it should seek to build others up. (Ephesians 4:25-29) The goal in all things related to relationship is love for the other person. And love, by God’s design, focuses on giving and blessing and healing and helping and encouraging….others. It flows out of me toward you. It is also at the core honest. Truthful. Transparent. This is why we so often find truth and love linked together in scripture. God’s nature is both truthful and loving, so He instructs us to be the same.
So often, our carefully edited public life is focused on distorting the truth to build ourselves up. Highlighting every success or precious parenting moment while conspicuously ommiting the mundane or mistakes or God forbid, the picture with the obvious muffin top. We can crop out the parts of our lives that express why we needed a Savior in the first place, or how very normal and human we really are- replacing them with altered versions for more likes.
But, is that done in love?
And while I would be the first to say social media is no place to share every personal struggle or sinful moment, my point is this: are we even considering love for others? The truthfulness of our Instagram feed? Is our communication for building ourselves up, or building others up? Do we use social media for our glory, or seek to be loving and thereby point others to the God who truly loves?
I have been deeply challenged by these thoughts over the past few months and encourage you to read Ephesians 4 and 5 for some great insight on godly ways to filter our speech and life we share on social media. And I would love to hear your thoughts- how do you decide what you post?