Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Church devotions: Facebook Blues - Colossians 3:8

Today’s readings are : 1 Samuel 7:10-17 and Colossians 3:1-11

Colossians 3:8                        But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

I love Facebook and I hate Facebook – how does this occur?

I love Facebook because it keeps me updated with most of my family and friends. I love to read of their experiences, their feelings, and see photographs of events or vacations. I love it when they post great quotes or funny cartoons. I love having trivial, humorous, and even some deep conversations with people from all over the world. These things make Facebook a pleasurable experience.

I hate Facebook because I sometimes get embroiled in arguments about politics, religion, and current events, even with people that I don’t know. I hate Facebook when people post horrible pictures or sleazy photographs that don’t need to be seen. I hate Facebook when folks that I love use bad language or curse and think it is okay to do that. I hate Facebook when people use images, quotes, or links that promote ill feelings, divisiveness, or outright rudeness.

So I have this love/hate relationship with Facebook, but I have the same feelings about most communicative digital experiences these days – whether I’m using browsers and search engines, web articles or blog posts, or even e-mails and texts.

Christians should be very discerning people. I think if Paul was writing today’s chosen verse he would have emphasized to all of us to think twice about what we write or post from our laptops, computers, or mobile devices. We, of all people, should apply different standards and make sure that our contributions to Facebook conversations and posts, etc., do not include anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language.

If we do so, then we should also be aware that we are choosing to act sinfully and are, in fact, letting Christ down completely.

Questions for personal reflection

Are my Facebook posts worthy of Christ? If I was sending a digital message to Jesus, how would I word it differently?

Prayer:            Lord Jesus, we are all too human at times, and yet You command us to lead better lives. Forgive us when we fail to loyally witness to You in all of our communications, especially those that are seen by many people. Help us to infuse Christian standards in all that we seek to express or communicate. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor at Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment or ask a question about today’s message, please send an email to John at

Today’s image is one of John’s latest winter drawings called “Snowfall at Glades Creek.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on the following link:

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