Okay, I admit it. Sometimes I post stuff on Facebook just to see how it will play out in “likes” and “shares.”
It is fascinating to me that I can post two bible verses – without commentary – seconds apart from each other and one will get dozens of “likes” while the other is largely ignored. I have even discovered a fairly proven – though not scientific – formula for predicting what will be “liked” and what will not. For example, here are two Bible verses from the same version of the Bible:
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. 1 John 2:4 (NLT)
I bet you can guess which one is popular and which one is not. Better yet, allow me to quote part of the scripture found just one verse before the popular one:
This is what the LORD says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years…” Jeremiah 29:10 (NLT)
You can safely bet, that this one would not be very popular either, yet it is in context with the one about “future and a hope”.
Why is it that God get’s cheers when we think life is going to be easy, but is ignored and downplayed when He let’s us know that life will sometimes be tough. Our loving God warns us about the things that are displeasing to Him and about things that are headed our way so that we can change and prepare. The problem is, all the warning in the world does us no good if we pass it off as irrelevant.
Similarly, this kind of spiritual duplicity can be seen in the items that are shared and in the language that is chosen by professing believers. Have you ever seen a meme with a personal comment such as, “other than the language this is great.” The Word of God tells us that bitter and sweet water cannot flow from the same fountain. (James 3:11) Although the Apostle was referring to the tongue, I’m sure he would have felt the same way about modern social media.
One more example for the road. People are often quick to share jokes or funny videos (even ones that aren’t fit to be shared,) or even generic spiritual messages, but many are often slow to like or share specific spiritual truths. For example, if the message is happy and it doesn’t mention true discipleship or challenge people to accept the real Christ, everybody and their aunt and uncle are sharing it, but if it is a message about “counting the cost” like many of the ones Jesus preached, social media Christians become very scarce.
If Jesus were on Facebook today, I wonder how many “likes” and “shares” He would get. I wonder how many of them would come from us.