I John 4:7-21
Screens are a primary source of information. Screens influence how we think, how we feel, how we act. They also influence how we see the world, how we see ourselves, how we see God – both positively and negatively.
BIG IDEA: Use your screens to show love
The Problem: Hating each other
“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.”
I John 2:9-10
– According to John, we need to display is a fervent, passionate, deep love.
What is love?
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for one another.”
I John 3:16
– According to John, love isn’t something you feel or something you say. Love is something you do.
How do we use our screens to show love?
1.Consider that there is a person on the OTHER SIDE of the screen.
“One of the most troublesome issues with social media: It’s very difficult to link words on a screen with the reality that there’s a living, breathing human on the other end of the connection.” (Nick English, “Anger Is the Internet’s Most Powerful Emotion,”)
-“Show proper respect to everyone.” 1 Peter 2:17
– Love is giving of yourself…for the good of others…even for those with whom you have differences.” (Matthew 5:44)
“When you love people who are like you, that’s ordinary. When you love people who are unlike you, that’s extraordinary. When you love people who dislike you, that’s revolutionary.” Vaughn Roberts, pastor
2.Consider the person on THIS SIDE of the screen: you
– Evaluate your heart – before you text, post, or create digital content.
Will this draw people or repel them from a relationship with Jesus?
Will this foster unity or stir up unnecessary divisions?
Will this build up or tear down?
Will this heap guilt or relieve it?
Will this ultimately glorify me or God?
3.Consider your CHILDREN
– Manage your children’s social media presence and participation
12- to 15-year-olds who typically spent three or more hours a day on social media were about twice as likely to experience depression, anxiety, loneliness, aggression or antisocial behavior as were adolescents who did not use social media. (Johns Hopkins study)
4.Consider COMPASSIONATE Confrontation (Colossians 3:12-14)
– Loving doesn’t mean we should shirk our responsibility to call out what is truly evil and stand up for people who are oppressed, for truth, for justice.
Loving your neighbor online:
– Advocate for people whose voice needs to be heard – the powerless, the vulnerable, those in need.
– Post stories of people who are making a difference. Stories of healing, restoration, reconciliation.
– Share stories from people in other countries whose suffering has gone unnoticed.
– Leverage the power of prayer: i.e. COS War Room
5.Consider IN-person Community
– Use Screens to show love, but don’t let it take the place of in-person community. As you are able to safely gather, using wisdom, connect person to person. (Hebrews 10:25)