It’s true that there are many, many people who use Facebook today. Many use it to catch up with friends, many use it to keep up with new acquaintances, many use it to share their thoughts, and even more use it to document the best parts of their lives.

In fact, it’s very likely that you found this blog post through Facebook.

I’m saying all this right at the beginning because I want to let you know that Facebook itself is not inherently bad. Sure, people can share things that are less than favorable to the eyes or mind, but just like any man-made thing – like clothing, tools, electronics, books, or anything else made by a person’s two hands or manufactured by factory machines – Facebook is fallible. It’s nowhere near perfect, and can never be. Only the Lord Jesus Christ is perfect, and He can be made perfect in our weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). So, because it is a man-made tool, we as Christians should at least be mindful of the words we say – or type (James 3:1-12).

How do we do so?

We can share scripture

This is the first thing I would do if I wanted to share good news in an easily accessible and quick way. We are encouraged to hide His word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11), but we’re also supposed to share and preach His good news (Matthew 28:16-20). Even if you’re not a preacher, social media can be a fabulous starting point to share what’s on your mind. Share a scripture you’ve been thinking about this week, or a favorite you’ve loved for a long time. There are also apps out there that let you customize text to create graphics with scriptures in them to share with others. Or, just simply post them as a text status. No matter what form they come in, sharing scripture is always a good idea to encourage other Christians around you online. (Hold onto the word “encourage” for a few minutes…we’ll get to it later.)

We can show support

Imagine that you’re scrolling through your news feed, and you see that several of your friends are having some trouble. One may be going through an illness, or one may be trying to seek out another job in the city, state, or country they’re moving to. Social media outlets like Facebook give us new opportunities to show support to others around us, Christians and non-Christians alike.

One way you can do this is to comment on a friend’s status and tell the person that you are praying for them. Or, if you’d rather message them in private, that is fine, too, or – even better – let them know in person if you see them regularly. And when you let them know that you’re praying for them by way of Facebook – as with any instance in which you express your desire to pray for someone – be intentional about it. Write it down in a prayer journal, planner, or even a sticky note. If we’re to be intentional about the way we encourage others (1 Thessalonians 5:11), prayer is a fabulous place to start, and such prayer can have a jumping-off point through Facebook. Speaking of encouragement…

We can encourage others

Social networking is simply that – social. Numerous opportunities practically fly across our screens every single day to engage with people, whether we work with them, attend church with them, or know them from anywhere else. Here’s the cool part: as Christians, we have the opportunity to put a positive spin on the comments and posts we make, and we get the opportunity to encourage others on a vast and wide scale.

For example, Easter was this past weekend. I can tell you that while scrolling through my news feed on my phone, I saw many of my friends and family exclaiming their joy that our Savior is risen. And yes, we can – and should – celebrate that, and it’s important that we remember and are thankful for what Jesus went through. Hiding our joy in and thankfulness for the Savior would be like stifling our excitement for any other happy time in our lives.

At the same time, we also shouldn’t reserve our joy to days on a calendar. We can share joy and encouragement to anyone about anything at any time – especially when it comes to the love we as Christians share for the One who saved us – because we “are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5b).

In closing, we should take any opportunity we can to share scripture, support, and encouragement with others, whether that’s on Facebook or off. You never know what impact a single status update can have in helping someone find Jesus and His kingdom.

By Savannah Cottrell