Social media is here to stay. Otherwise how would we know that Kermit is dating a younger, thinner frog? In our constant quest for connection we now know many things that don’t matter.
Of course social media is not a new thing. It made it’s first appearance as cave drawings and explains such innovative technologies as the alphabet. Our need for connection is huge, although the opportunities may now be outstripping our capacities. But nothing has been added but speed and scale. As the Preacher observed, “There is nothing new under the sun.”
If that’s true, there must be ancient wisdom that helps us navigate this maze. Like Titus 3:1–2, where Paul instructs the early church to “show perfect courtesy to all people.” Clearly he never heard of Facebook.
There is more. He also instructs them to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, and to be gentle. Oh, and one more thing: to be submissive to rulers and authorities. It’s a passage every Christian blogger or Facebook witness should copy and paste to their electronic desktop and mobile device.
Certainly there is truth to be proclaimed, in love as the Apostle taught (Ephesians 4:15). In Fool’s Talk, Os Guinness thinks we have to learn new ways of persuading people of old truths, mostly because people no longer care what we think. But as he points out, there are things that need to be said, now perhaps more than ever. We just aren’t very good at saying them.
I agree, and hope over the next few Mondays to explore how we can do this better. No formulas here. No unfounded optimism either. Wise use of technology is about as difficult as wise use of the tongue, which James describes as a fire and a poison. Social media can be both. It is just an extension of our tongue after all.
But blessing can also flow from our lips and our keyboards.
Let us begin.
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