It’s more important than we know for an individual to have discernment and discretion in hitting the “share” or “retweet” buttons concerning online posts and articles. A lot of weightless words float around the cyber world. Not everything that comes down the timeline is worth our time nor helpful to those we’ll pass it to. Some of it is!

Before I consider sharing an article dealing with spiritual issues on my social media, I want first to consider a few things…

First, the Source, or who wrote it.

Do they have a testimony and a track record of serving God? Are they seasoned and in a position to speak authoritatively? Is the article coming from a dorm room or a study? Where do they stand doctrinally and philosophically? Does the author actually practice what they’re wanting me to practice? Who do they read after or model themselves after? Is the author in the ministry? Have I even heard of them? What local church are they associated with? I can handle coaching…But I don’t have time to listen to some armchair quarterback who’s telling me that I may be throwing the ball wrong. Your “share” is your endorsement of the author, their doctrine, and whatever else that entails.

Secondly, the Spirit, or are they seeking to help me or just prove their personal position?

Is there an underlying agenda that could hurt my ministry or those associated with it? Are they pushing their platform? What attitude motivated the article? Too much free time and a sour spirit have produced many a post. Where’s their heart? I want to discern in what spirit the article was typed.

Thirdly, the Scriptures, or is it even Bible?

If an obscure reference to Scripture is all that’s used to hold up an article…I just scroll on by. Give me Bible. By the way, I mean the same Bible that I believe and use. I don’t want to pollute every timeline on my contact list with bad Bible versions.

Finally, the Superfluity, or is the content of the article just plain unnecessary?

A lot of what is cycled through the social media book club is far from information that people actually need. Much of it is just noise. Will it help those who read build a church or a bus route? Will it motivate them to win souls or living a clean life? Will it help us move closer to the place of revival? If not, why waste the post? How will the article help us get closer to Christ? Is it something I might be able to glean something from, but others may stumble over? If so, I don’t broadcast it. Share it…if it meets a need!

There are other things I personally consider before sharing content, but these few do a good job of filtering much of it. Someone once told me that, “Often, the smartest man at the table is the one who says the least.” May we be walking circumspectly and always with discernment. Influence is a serious thing (Proverbs 13:20).

Pastor Justin Cooper

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