Guest blog from Nick, a student from Teesside Uni who's been experimenting with using the online space to bravely share Jesus.
As I post my blog on a sunny Friday afternoon, a billion thoughts play havoc with my mind, but they're not the thoughts I used to have. When I began posting, these thoughts were a mixture of panic and anxiety; What are my friends going to think of me? Who is going to see it? Will I get judged?
But I couldn't have been more wrong. The responses I got back were full of encouragement, inspiration and joy. I had people coming up to me on nights out or when studying in the library, thanking me for posting my blog or an artsy Bible verse, telling me how uplifted they had felt after reading them. In those moments, I saw God in people who didn't believe and it touched my heart. Non-Christians talking about Christ, instead of judging Him.
An inspirational preacher once said in their sermon, "Your life might be the only Bible your friends will ever see." These words have really stuck with me ever since and are constantly in my mind whenever I post on social media. It always brings up the question of - Can I Say the Same Thing in Front of Someone? Social media distances us from the impact of our words. We can say things and then put our phones in our pockets, being blind to how others will react to them. But just because we can't see the impact of these words in reality doesn't mean our words don't make a splash. If we're going to post something you wouldn't say to someone's face, should we say it at all?
The quote above demonstrates that we should show ourselves as an example of what a Christian truly is, more today on our Instagram or Facebook feeds. On social media, there tends to be a culture of "Saying What Needs to be Said." But when everyone is doing this, it tends to blur the lines of what actually needs to be said. A better way to get a message across is to say what needs to be said, but then to live it in the now. This is what Jesus did. Matthew 8 talks about what Jesus did as soon as he had finished the Sermon on the Mount. He healed a man with leprosy. He didn't ignore the people that had come to see Him, or walk off to do something different. He practiced what He preached.
Through posting on social media, we can point our Facebook friends to Jesus with the light of our lives, with external truth and with grace-filled interactions. It can be daunting and scary, but it's a step of faith. You may be surprised but people are watching. Only as we walk by the Spirit in the social media sphere can we make the impact there for Christ.
Why not do a Nick and post about your faith on social media? Check out what he's working on here... dontfearonlybelieve.wordpress.com