When Jesus said to this disciples in the Great Commission: “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to all nations,” little did he know that 2000 years later that would include something called the worldwide web and that the ways we would speak to one another would be through tweets and texts, posts and blogs.
Along with the advances in communication technology, there has been an explosion of ways to witness to others about the Gospel and about our life of faith.
People know more about our day-to-day activities than they ever did 20 years ago because of Facebook and other social media outlets, and that has created more opportunities to voluntarily display what living the Christian life in the world today looks like. And, unfortunately, it can also reveal our sinful nature and the ways in which we have not lived as in line with our calling as Christ’s disciples as we should. Most often these “less than Christian” activities include angry rants and images that often degrade others or ourselves.
Because all that we say and do and view and post on the worldwide web can be tracked and monitored and documented and recorded for the rest of time, we become much more accountable for our words and actions. Things cannot be as hidden as they once were, and no matter how much we think no one is noticing, there is a greater and greater potential for someone seeing our life in action.
This begs the question: What are people witnessing about us? And it begs the larger question: How can I be a witness to others of Christ’s love in such a multi-visual and multi-message environment?
Our call to be a witness for Christ takes on an even greater significance, in my view, because of the increased transparency of our lives.
I think about a presentation by Matthew Peeples, a pastor in Knoxville, Tennessee, who said that people can tell pretty quickly when you are being fake or trying to be someone are not. Our calling, then, Peeples said, is to be genuine and sincere in what we post and in the images that we present. Be real. Acknowledge that you are not perfect, but be sure to portray your true commitment to being a follower for Christ and your desire to do God’s will in all things.
People respond well to people who are honest and people who are sure and certain of the hope that they have within them.
Each time I go on Facebook now and sit in the glow of the computer screen, I whisper to myself, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” It is not about making yourself look good. It is about giving God all the glory in your every moment in this gift of life he has given you.