by Don Blackwell
I wake up, grab my iPhone, turn off the alarm, and update my Facebook status. On the way to school I scroll through my friends’ status updates, updating mine with the song on my iPod. At lunch, I take a picture of me and my friends and upload it to Facebook.
Now, I am chatting with my best friend in Tennessee. Status update: “Good night all. I’ll text you in the morning.” Such is the day of a typical American young person.
Facebook has taken the cyber world by storm and our social lives forever in a different direction. Compete.com ranked Facebook as the most used social network in the world.
According to Facebook’s own stats page, there are currently more than 350 million active users, and 65 million people are accessing Facebook through their phones/mobile devices. They say that the average user has 130 Facebook friends and spends more than 55 minutes a day on their site.
What if Jesus were on Facebook and he sent you a friend request. We know that such is not possible, but for the sake of illustration pretend.
Would you have to stop and think before you accepted it? Would you have to look through your pictures to be sure that you don’t have any immodest pictures or anything tasteless?
Maybe make sure that you don’t have any pictures taken in inappropriate places? Would you go back over your postings to be sure that you haven’t said anything crude or inappropriate?
Would you scan through your list of favorite movies and music, perhaps deleting a few before you let Jesus on your site? What about the games you play? Quizzes you take?
Is there anything that would make you stop and say to yourself, “I think I’ll delete that before I let Jesus on my site?” If the answer is “Yes,” then why not go ahead and take it off? The fact of the matter is the Lord does look at our Facebook pages!
Proverbs 15:3 says, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place keeping watch on the evil and the good.”
Not only God is watching me on Facebook, but other people are watching. What they see on my Facebook site affects what they think about me, and the church, and Christianity.
What if I have my “religious preference” listed as “church of Christ,” and then I have pictures posted of me at a nightclub, or dancing, or at the beach immodestly dressed, or with an alcoholic beverage?
Or what if my status update has immoral lyrics? Or maybe I’m venting, and running someone else down. We ask, “What effect is it going to have on my non-Christian friend who looks at my site?”
He might say to himself, “I do better than that, and I don’t even pretend to be a Christian!” Or he might think, “What a hypocrite!”
Imagine that you are surfing Facebook, and you see that Jesus has his own site. You are excited, so you send him a friend request. Would he accept it?
Most of us when we receive a friend request have some sort of criteria before we indiscriminately accept someone as our friend.
We want to know if we know the person. We glance at his information, his friend list, where he lives, etc. Does Jesus have criteria for friend requests? Sure he does!
He said, “You are my friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:14). Therefore, to be a friend of Jesus, you have to obey him. In light of this,
Christian friend, ask yourself “Would Jesus accept my friend request?”
Before you answer, consider your faithfulness in attending worship, your Bible study habits, your efforts to teach others, your giving, the way you treat other people, etc. Now, with your answers in mind, “Would Jesus accept your friend request?”
Don is the preacher for the North Charleston Church of Christ in Charleston, South Carolina. He also works with the Gospel Broadcasting Network.