That leads me to my title, “Some Christians Look Like Liars on Social Media.” I know it sounds harsh, but you know what, it’s true. Either intentionally or unintentional, but either way, a lie is a lie. As we can see, social media has become more toxic as the days go by. I believe it has further divided our nation and world. People are drawing lines more so in the sand in their beliefs than ever before. In many cases, you can’t even have a decent conversation with someone of the opposing view without them attacking you.
Because of this belief system that we are developing, people are ingrained in their thinking. It’s not about what is the truth anymore. It’s about, what information do I find, and it correlates with my belief system? Whether it’s true or not, if it strikes my emotions and hits MY truth meter, I’m seizing hold. Whatever happened to an open mind? The ability to have the willingness to explore to find the truth.
Today, we live in the Google world, before that, Yahoo. I can remember my dad calling me one time trying to find information on the internet about prescription drugs and this was in the days of AOL dial-up. He called to say he couldn’t find the information he wanted. I told him to type in the address bar Yahoo.com. It got silent. I was like, “Dad, you there?”
Fast forward from the late 1990s and to the early 2000s; today, we can almost Google anything. Now, Google will finish your question before you are done typing. That’s how advanced it has become, we are on information overload in our world. Is there false information out there? Absolutely, but with the proper research and having the discernment of the Holy Spirit, I believe we all can come to a proper conclusion. Especially, as believers, we have the Holy Spirit inside of us; he is referred to as the Spirit of Truth.
If we have the Spirit of Truth inside of us, what is our excuse? Why are we so willing to bypass truth and post whatever, truth or not? I believe this question has many answers. Everyone has their own reasons. It could be pride for one; they don’t want to prove themselves wrong or they are already in a heated battle and they can’t look foolish. If they realize the truth, they will have to admit they were wrong. Laziness can be another factor; it’s just too easy to not spend the proper time needed to research. Then you have the other person, they just don’t care. It fuels and appeals to their emotions and beliefs.
It doesn’t matter what the reason is, posting dishonest half-truths or outright lies is wrong. It should not be accepted from any Christian. The bible says in Proverbs 12:22 (KJV) "Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.” As we post falsehoods, the Lord detests it! It’s a stench in his nostrils. Then the scripture further says, “they that deal truly are his delight.” It’s really your choice. Do you want to be a stench in his nostrils or be his delight? This should be easy for all of us.
If anyone struggles with this after reading it, then I would question the love you have in your heart. This is the basic element of being a Christian. We should all have the love of God deposited in our hearts.
Two keys I see in these scriptures is pride and truth. When we have love in our hearts, we refuse to walk in pride; it’s not who we are. Pride goes before a fall, we should steer clear of it in our lives. Then we should rejoice in truth because it wins. It doesn’t matter if it makes us look dumb. I have much more respect for someone that can swallow their pride and admit they are wrong. Why? Because they are truth seekers. They want to be a delight in the Lord. It’s who they are! Truth is way more important to them than anything else. They know there is freedom in truth.
So, you say, “Shawn, I’m on-board! I must admit, I have been posting stuff I shouldn’t. What do you do in your personal life regarding social media?” Personally, I don’t post much that contains so-called hot topics, politics, and social issues. It’s not what my Facebook or Instagram is used for. I don’t use Twitter as some others do. I will occasionally go there to read information. My social media is used to promote our ministry. If you looked at my feeds, you would gather a sense of a positive outlook and what we are doing in Honduras. With that being said, I can give you some good practices in research and how to decide when to post or not.
The first question you should ask yourself, should I post this on Facebook or any other social media? Is it even worth it? Are you willing to defend your position? Do you have the means and knowledge of the subject? Is it going to make you look like a fool? The list goes on. I think there are repercussions. Slow down and think about it. If you crossed that threshold, and it passes your personal litmus test, then you move onto whether it’s factually true.
Let’s look at pictures and memes that people post for various information. The picture itself can be a great research tool. Many don’t realize that pictures are photoshopped daily. There are millions of photos out there that have been used to develop a lie. I remember when one of my FB friends posted an ugly dress former First Lady Obama was wearing.
Then we have memes or postings with verbiage. Example: a statement that President Trump supposedly said. Someone posted it to create an outrage. The first question that should come to mind, did he say it? The last thing you should do is post it immediately, you must research it. What I would do in this situation is think about if this really matters. Do I really care and how is it going to impact my life? If I feel the urge to do so, I will copy the text (maybe about 5 to 10 words), go to Google, paste it in the address bar, then put quotation marks around the text, then type Trump on the outside of the quotation marks, and click enter. Google will come back with the results on any news article or website where that text is appearing exactly verbatim and with Trump within that article or piece. If there are no results, then there is no documented case in which he said it. If the search came back with that he said it, then you need to consider the source. It is a legit website or is it a satirical one (website that produces nothing but fake news articles)? See, you have the ability to do proper research. Sometimes you will have to compare a website with another website and spend actual time, but as a person potentially posting a statement that could be a lie, it’s your responsibility to do so.
After doing numerous types of searches, depending on what I come up with, I will decide on what I will do with the post. If I have concrete evidence from a RELIABLE source, then I may post it. But if it’s obscure and there isn't solid proof, then I won’t post it, PERIOD!
We could go on and on. There are many ways to research something, but I want you to get one thing out of this, stop posting information on the internet and you don‘t even know if it‘s the truth. As a Christian, we are to uphold truth and walk in it. We don‘t have to uphold our emotions, opinions, political beliefs, or anything else. We are to stand for truth!
Thank you for stopping by!