6/16/11

1 Rule Every Christian Should Follow On Twitter

I was going to entitle this post, "How Jesus Would Use Twitter," but everyone knows that speaking for Jesus about things that aren't in the Bible is a Christian blog fail. And as hard as I tried to find some hidden message about Twitter in one of Jesus' parables, I was unsuccessful.

I have noticed that Twitter has become like a diary, where we impulsively display our thoughts - ironically oftentimes without much thought. But unlike a diary, we display it for the world. In one of my past tweets, I wrote, "Just went to Little Caesar's for a hot-n-ready. Got a hot-n-ready in 5 min, instead." In another tweet, I wrote, "Two people have told me something similar to this today - 'He was a little guy. Just a little bigger than you.' #beamingwithself-confidence."

What's wrong with these tweets? Not much, I guess. We should be able to use Twitter in any way we choose. But as a Christian, I wonder if Twitter and Facebook and any other way we communicate with the world should be more positive, more strategic. In last week's post, I wrote about my timidity to share the gospel. As God works on that, and as I am reminded that "the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline," I am also reminded that our behavior - the things we do that nonbelievers watch so closely - extends to Twitter. While I may not make the best of opportunities to share the gospel in person, my message is loud and clear when I'm careless on Twitter.

I'm reluctant to write posts like this. I don't want to sound legalistic. But what if we Christians followed this one rule on Twitter?

#1 - No Negative Tweets
Although it may not seem like that big of an issue, when Christians are negative on Twitter, we are telling the world that our joy from God can be overcome by our complaints about life. Our negative tweet may seem relevant, and potentially amusing, but to your followers, it just sounds whiny. And though it will be drowned by other tweets in minutes, your boss, your friends or any other follower has a permanent database to review your negative thoughts.

I'm not suggesting that we send out regular fake, happy tweets. Maybe just cut the ones that don't help the kingdom. As Paul teaches us in Ephesians, "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." (Eph. 4:29).

What are some more rules that Christians should follow on Twitter?

5 comments:

themcneal.com said...

"Out of the overflow of the heart, the [Twitter] speaks." Luke 6:45

Anonymous said...

Actually, I like Matthew's rendition better: "You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." (Matthew 12:34).

But this begs the question: What, exactly, do you mean by "negative"? Is it "negative" for Jesus to call the Pharisees a "brood of vipers"?

How about this:

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. [. . .] 33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?" (Matthew 23:27-33)

That's pretty negative.

The Apostle Paul says some pretty negative things too. (Like wishing that the Judiazers would emasculate themselves--Gal. 5:12).

So all of that raises the question as to exactly what the sense of "negative" is that you think Christians should not tweet.

Evan Bell said...

Anonymous,

Good question. When I say, "negative," I mean those quick complaints that we share with the world that have no real purpose but to complain.

Shoot me an email at evancbell@gmail.com. I have very specific thoughts about the verses you pointed out if you would like to discuss further.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

EB

Evan Bell said...

Chris,

I knew I just overlooked it! I hope you are doing well, buddy!

EB

Spiritual Klutz said...

I think tweets were funny, but I see what you're saying. I'm going to have to chew on this one.

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