Using Social Media as a Christian

by Jessica Ericksen on

Articles 10 min read
Philippians 4:8 Colossians 3:12

Social media gets a bad rap—and not all for bad reason. At its worst, it can perpetuate many things we should actively seek to avoid as Christians. Spend time browsing social media, and it won’t take you long to see vanity, consumerism, sexual immorality, argumentativeness, and countless other traits that are in direct contrast with how the Christian life should be pursued. 

How, then, can Christians engage with social media in a positive way? Should we avoid it altogether? In a seemingly endless sea of self-glorification, is it possible for social media to be used for God’s glory? 

Clearly, there is no reference in Scripture regarding whether or not we should be on social media, so individual convictions will come to different conclusions. However, there are ways we can choose to participate in a healthy manner as Christians, should we choose to engage on this ever-growing platform. Here are some tips to help you navigate the social media space.

  1. Do an audit of who you follow.

    Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

    What types of accounts are you following or engaging with? Do they meet the criteria laid forth in Philippians for the things we should be thinking about? No matter what type of media we consume, we would be prudent to apply it through this filter. Do you find yourself following accounts that gossip, slander, promote immoral behavior, or glorify things that are not of God? What about accounts that cause you to feel envy or discouragement? Are such accounts spurring you along your walk with God?

    Follow and engage with accounts that add value, and avoid accounts that could cause you to stumble in thought or action. Once upon a time, social media revolved around following and keeping in touch with friends and family. That smaller inner circle has vastly expanded to include companies, celebrities, pundits, “influencers,” and more. Who you are being influenced by matters. The words we read and the images we see matter. We don’t have to cut ourselves off from the world entirely, as there is much opportunity to follow and engage with accounts that better exemplify the traits of Philippians 4:8. Do an audit of who you are following, and delete any account that is impeding your walk with God. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every single account we choose to follow has to be overtly Christian in nature, but they should definitely not be overtly anti-Christian in nature.

  2. Engage with accounts gracefully.

    Proverbs 21:23 warns, “Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.” Friends, engaging in combat as a keyboard warrior may leave you feeling like you’ve won a battle, but you will definitely not win any wars. The perceived protection and anonymity of technology can embolden people to say things on social media they would never say to a person face-to-face. Guard your typing fingers in the same way you guard your tongue. Engaging in online arguments rarely wins people to your side, even if you feel your cause is righteous.

    In all interactions on social media, approach conversations with the same grace Jesus shows us every moment of every day. In the same manner we have to learn to bite our tongues in face-to-face conversations, we should do the same in social media interactions. Consider Proverbs 15:28,The heart of the righteous considers how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.” Think before you type. Avoid contentious responses, and flee the temptation to respond unlovingly when you see or read something you disagree with. Will engaging in arguments on social media ultimately win the victory for Christ? Will it expand His Kingdom? Is it the best avenue for communicating your disagreement with something, or will it simply open up a can of worms that pulls you deeper into an unfruitful argument? You may find that very often the best response on social media is no response at all.
  1. Post thoughtfully.

    Not only should we be cautious in our responses to others online, but we should also guard our tongues in regards to what we choose to share on our own social media feeds. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Just as unwholesome talk should not come out of our mouths, we should also not type them on a keyboard. Social media does not give us a free pass to publicly air grievances, shame people, call out the sins of others, speak ungraciously or with malice, attack people who disagree with us, etc. 

    If you have a message you want to share, what is your heart in it? Is it to uplift and build others up, or is it to put them down? Is it to further the Kingdom of God, or is it to further your own agenda? Is it beneficial for others who are reading it, or is it intended for their demise? Before you hit “Post,” consider whether or not what you are putting out in the world is edifying or harmful. If there is something you need to address with someone, approach it in a biblical manner (see Matthew 18:15-17).

    Furthermore, it is no secret that social media can be a breeding ground for self-promotion and glorification. Before we post, let’s thoughtfully consider our motives and guard ourselves from vanity. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31,So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” I’m confident Paul had no idea that social media would someday be part of “whatever you do,” but we have a unique position as Christians in the modern age to use social media for God’s glory. Instead of using our posts to point to how great we are and magnify ourselves, let’s use them to point to how great our God is and magnify Christ.

    Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Social media can easily be a place of negativity, so let’s be counter-cultural and shed light in what is so often a dark place! When we post and engage in a way that aligns with our values as Christians, we will ultimately point to Christ with our actions. May we let others see the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) abound in us as we participate in social media!

    Be encouraged: there are certainly many things we shouldn’t post on social media, but there are absolutely things of value that we can post as Christians participating in social media. Share things you or your family or doing, share photos of the kids, beautiful photos of your vacation—very often our friends and family love seeing these things! Even these more personal types of posts that share about our own lives have the opportunity to point back to Christ. Express gratitude to God for whatever you’re experiencing, praise God for your kids, glorify God the Creator for the beauty that you’re witnessing. Need prayer? If you’re comfortable, ask for it on social media. Also ask how you can be praying for others. Share encouraging messages, sermons, or Scripture. Seek opportunities to celebrate and uplift others and to point people to Jesus and His Word. Find positive and meaningful connection in online communities of like-minded people. Social media is not all bad, and there is so much opportunity to redeem it for good.
  1. Guard your time.

    How much time are you spending on social media? Now, how much time are you spending in God’s Word? If the answer to the former is longer than the answer to the latter, it’s time to do some re-evaluating of how your time is being spent.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Are you allowing God to equip you for His good works by rooting yourself in His Word, or are the thoughts of others from social media making a bigger imprint on you?

    Matthew 4:4 says, “Jesus answered, ‘It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Are you feasting on the words of others, are are you feasting on God’s Word, on the Bread of Life?

    The psalmist writes in Psalm 119:105,Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” Is your path being illumined by the truth of God’s Holy Word, or are you walking in the opinions of others on social media?

    Guard your time on social media, and be protective of your time in the Word. The words that should be shaping and molding us should be the very words of God, not the things we read on social media. Invest your time wisely.

    It’s very simple: if we have time to scroll social media, we have time to read our Bibles. If you struggle to pull away from the phone, consider replacing social media time with time on a Bible app. You can read any part of the Bible in its entirety, or even read devotionals or participate in Bible studies. You can also check out this resource website,, from the comfort of your phone.

In all our use of social media, let’s bear this in mind: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12). Let’s clothe ourselves properly for the environment of social media, and let’s use social media as an opportunity to spread the light of Christ in what is so often a very dark place. May Christ be magnified both in our online and offline lives.

About the Author

Jessica Ericksen (M. A. in Communication, The University of Texas at Arlington) serves in the worship and communications ministries of Central Bible Church.