Friday, May 12, 2023
God said, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” (2 Tim. 3:1–5). God calls us to guard our tongue that it would be to His glory and honor. The devil tried the “I will” five times and failed.
People suffer spiritually by heeding spirits of self-promotion, or “selfie” social media, including many Christians. Facebook, You Tube, Snapchat, Pinterest, WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat, and TikTok are among the most popular. But why do many believers seek “Likes” or “Hits” on their social media sites just like the world? Do they need validation, acceptance? Is that how they find their worth? Is being loved by God not enough? It’s alarming the “selfie” type stuff of personal information Christians post on “themselves”. That’s what unbelievers do regularly and God calls it being “lovers of themselves”. You see it every day. It seems people starved for attention want to be “influencers”, and find fulfillment in their number of “Followers” or “Likes”. In new birth faith, however, believers’ hearts and mind’s are on Christ, we’re content with Him, content with His Word, content with being validated by Him, without needing publicized “selfie” validation by the world’s social scoring system of how many Followers, Likes or Subscribers we have.
Don’t misunderstand me, if you have an online Christian ministry that advances Gospel truths, or a secular business serving others to provide Godly, medical, mental, or other health information, then social media serves others, not self, and that’s good. But that’s not the issue to which God speaks, but rather the promotion of “self” that’s not for the benefit of others. Many social media users love to project “themselves”, seeking validation and praise from people and not validation and praise of God. It’s an end-time identifier of “lovers of themselves” and our generation is rife with social media users seeking to promote themselves. It’s a deceit by the devil to get believers entangled in the world’s spiritually empty distress system of being “lovers of themselves”.
Note that those 2 Tim. 3:1–5 sins in this last generation begins with “lovers of themselves” and ends with “having a form of godliness but denying its power”, identifying people claiming faith in Christ. The first deceit nourishes and blindly justifies the last, and everything in between. We believers must be discerning of our social media communication because God said “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil” (Matt. 5:37 KJV). And God also said “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Eph. 4:29 KJV). Communication that promotes “self” is a seedbed to a plethora of other deadly sins.
If using social media, do it to the glory and honor of God in Christ who “delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13–14). And so, “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD…Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together” (Psa. 34:1–3).
Marlin J. Yoder