It should be with fear and trepidation that we engage in social media. There seem to be sufficient warnings in God’s word, particularly in Proverbs 27, to counsel against participation.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. A stone is heavy and the sand weighty, but the provocation of a fool is heavier than both of them. Wrath is fierce and anger is a flood, but who can stand before jealousy? Proverbs 27:1-4
The first is that it is based on boasting. However it’s cut, you wind up with “ha, ha, this is what I’m doing tomorrow.” The biblical principle is that who can predict what tomorrow holds? The same would hold for true for what you’ve just enjoyed. All this just promotes the jealousy of others. It’s said here that jealousy is worse than anger and wrath. The latter characteristically flare up and subside. The former causes one to seethe.
We are counseled early on to not blow one’s own horn, but the whole basis of Facebook and Instagram is to invite the comments of others. But with your boastful posts you do blow your own horn with the purpose egging on others to praise you. Then you’re sad if no one does, or if they don’t react in the way you expect, which would always be, if you’re honest, to heap praise or to admit envy.
During the normal course of one’s life there may be times where you’re praised. But let these moments be special, not contrived. We should be about pleasing God not man. Sometimes he dispatches special emissaries to provide encouragement. Likes are finicky and ofttimes disingenuous.
But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need. 1 Thessalonians 4:10-12
Paul talks about our leading a quiet life working with our hands. Living online is not quite what he had in mind. The apostle was always under fire and second-guessed for his motives. He used a lot of ink trying to set the record straight or attempting to clarify himself even before he spoke. Today imagine the Twitter storms he’d endure!
Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:6
What we have to offer the world in many cases are “pearls before swine.” To argue with others on the meaningless platform of social media is to carry unnecessary weight. It’s a burden we need not bear.