Retweet With Those Who Retweet

The Bible says to rejoice with those those who rejoice and weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). As believers, we sometimes do the exact opposite on social media. If there is suspicion about a brother or sister, if a Christian leader makes a decision that some take issue with, if someone misspeaks, we light it up online. And then the apologies or clarifications quietly happen, if they happen at all, in less visible venues.

We sometimes miss the boat on good things too. We can go out of our way to ignore someone’s cause for rejoicing. Our silence can reveal our jealousy or covetousness or an underlying grudge. Instead of rushing to social media to celebrate with someone, we let the encouragement happen, if it happens at all, in less visible venues. 

Enough.

Let’s flip this thing on its head, or better yet, turn it back the way it properly belongs. Let’s be quick to celebrate and slow to condemn. Let’s quit using our social media platforms as bully pulpits to minimize the accomplishments of those we don’t particularly like and maximize other’s mistakes to build our own brand. 

Here’s a few diagnostic questions:

  • When was the last time you used a Facebook post, or Twitter update, or Instagram, or whatever, to encourage someone for whom you had no immediate or direct benefit — simply because it was the right and helpful thing to do?
  • When was the last time you critiqued someone online in a way that had nothing to do with edification and everything to do with scoring points with your tribe?
  • When was the last time you paused in offering encouragement to someone online because you knew that your positive statements would lose points for you with your tribe? Even though you knew it was appropriate, perhaps deserved, and could be edifying, you remained silent.
  • When was the last time you promoted someone else’s accomplishments through your social media channels? Are all of your posts pointing people to your stuff?
  • How often are you drawing attention to others vices or weaknesses or wrong positions online in ways that are mainly about building yourself up and making yourself looks smart, orthodox, clever, or courageous? 
  • When was the last time I used my social media to lift someone else up and not just try to get the attention of someone I look up to or hope to be identified with? 
  • When was the last time you said something about someone online that you would never, ever, feel comfortable saying in person?

Let’s get it right in 2019. Let’s rejoice with those who rejoice. Let’s do it publicly and not just privately. And let’s weep with those who weep. Let’s do it privately and not just publicly.

Let’s not use other’s challenges, even self-imposed ones, as an opportunity to trumpet our “right” opinions and get our amens and fire up our echo chambers. And only then quietly offer apologies or condolences or prayers. 

Let’s use our platforms to bless or let’s not use them at all. We can do a whole lot of good, offer a whole lot of encouragement, and lift up a whole lot of people with our public platforms this next year, whether we have 100 followers on Twitter or 100K and a blue check. And if this is not our aim, perhaps the time for cutting off the power and deactivating the accounts has finally come.