A better question might be what does Jesus think of what you post?
Once you label yourself as a Christian, the world looks at you differently. It also listens to and reads what you post on social media differently. Should it? Aren’t Christians really just plain old sinners who have chosen to believe that they are saved by grace through the blood of Jesus? Yes, but to every single lost person, and honestly most other Christians, you are supposed to be some kind of never sinning superhuman whose level of perfection should match that of Jesus.
Ever seen a Christian get tangled up in social media drama? I confess, I have been tangled up. How should be respond when people don’t share the same ideas and values we have? What if their definition of sin doesn’t match God’s word?
To be noble or common…that is the question.
According to 2 Timothy 2:20-26 in the Amplified Bible:
20 Now in a large house there are not only vessels and objects of gold and silver, but also vessels and objects of wood and of earthenware, and some are for honorable (noble, good) use and some for dishonorable (ignoble, common). 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things [which are dishonorable—disobedient, sinful], he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified [set apart for a special purpose and], useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. 22 Run away from youthful lusts—pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those [believers] who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 But have nothing to do with foolish and ignorant speculations [useless disputes over unedifying, stupid controversies], since you know that they produce strife and give birth to quarrels. 24 The servant of the Lord must not participate in quarrels, but must be kind to everyone [even-tempered, preserving peace, and he must be], skilled in teaching, patient and tolerant when wronged. 25 He must correct those who are in opposition with courtesy and gentleness in the hope that God may grant that they will repent and be led to the knowledge of the truth [accurately understanding and welcoming it], 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
So what does all that mean?
If we interpret large house as the church, we see that there are some vessels “individual Christians” that are more noble than others. But, it also gives us some instructions for how to be a more honorable vessel.
First, we have to be cleansed. How? Luckily for us, He gives us some action steps.
- Run away from youthful lust. I’m not sure of the Biblical definition of youthful lust but I believe that youthful could refer to any area of our lives or personalities that hasn’t matured and lust is more than an intense longing. To me, it is an unhealthy pursuit of that object of longing – whatever that object may be.
- Pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace. Pursue – to follow. Follow righteousness. Follow faith. Follow love. Follow peace.
- Avoid useless disputes over unedifying, stupid controversies. Unedifying – not morally uplifting or instructive. The next verse simplifies that for us by leaving out the filters of unedifying and stupid and just says “do not participate in quarrels”. You won’t ever talk someone into seeing a hard, cold, moral value differently or browbeat them into submission so why initiate strife?
So we should run from, pursue and avoid.
How should we act while we are doing those things? We should be kind to everyone. I believe this includes those of other political parties, belief systems, sexual orientations, colors and flavors. I have not read anywhere where kindness is a sin but I have read where hatred and judgement are.
We must be patient and tolerant when wronged. People are going to assume certain things about you if you label yourself a Christian. Chances are good that depending on the Christians they have known, those labels won’t include patience and tolerance. Act in such a way as to change their minds. If you ask many restaurant server his or her least favorite shift, it is Sunday after church because the cheap, demanding Christians come eat after the Sunday service. That is a sad commentary. Do your part to change it.
If we confront someone who believes differently than we do, we should do so with courtesy and gentleness hoping that our actions will lead them to repentance, not so that we can prove we are right. Being right should never be our motivation. You can be right all day long and be the only one that knows it and you are still right. The goal should always be to first reconcile someone to Christ and then so that we can have a right relationship with that person.
We are all from the same clay….
Finally, remember that we are all the potter’s creations – believers and non believers, people of all political parties, belief systems, sexual orientations, colors and flavors. I’m not saying you have to agree with any of them but I am saying if you choose to engage them, be very careful. Choose words that represent Christ the way He instructs us to. We want to make Jesus famous without becoming infamous!