Jesus declares the identity of true believers in Matthew 5:14-15 saying, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house."
A Christian was meant to be a light wherever He sets foot, whether he or she is at home, at work, in the mall, at the gym or in school. But does our identity as Christians change when we are not physically present in a space? What happens when we step into cyber space and into the realm of social media?
Sadly, so many believers take one step into social media and feel that the place can be a no-holds-bar word war zone. Many loving and gentle people seem to lose all reserve when they go online, and this proves true not only for Christians but for everyone. Facebook has become an avenue to be hateful and hurtful to others without feeling the social consequences of doing so, and sadly Christians can be among the perpetrators. But is this what God wants for believers who go online?
I believe God calls us still to be the light of the world whether in real space or cyber space. Here are five ways that you can be a light of the world on Facebook and thus be a positive, rather than negative, testimony of the faith online.
Cut the hate and show the love. It can be completely easy to comment, post and share hateful ideas and statements online, but a believer led by the Spirit of God will continue in love, peace, gentleness, kindness and self-control even on comment boxes. John 13:35 reminds us, "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Share what is beneficial, not what is permissible. Sure that article, photo or video is intriguing and interesting to you, but is it beneficial to people who see your news feed? Will it build them up or only tear them down?
Be a solution, not a problem ranter. Are you the type of person who loves to rant on social media? I have to admit that I can be guilty of this at times, but the still small voice of God's Spirit reminds me that Jesus meant for me to be a part of the solution, not a loudspeaker of the pessimism and hopelessness. That's not to say that we don't be vocal about problems, but do your posts share hope or despair?
Practice tact. Feelings are hard to express and discern online, but they still exist on social media. Colossians 4:6 tells us, "Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person."
Make it a platform of truth. Never has it been easier to share ideas than it is today, but are you taking the opportunity to fill your feeds of your friends with truthful ideas that bless? God calls us, the body of Christ, to be a pillar of truth to all mankind and share Jesus Christ every opportunity we get to do so.