Living in a shiny world can leave you turned around, even lost at times.
Ever so subtly, worldviews creep in pushing out God’s views. Our once clear path becomes a collective detour of influential clicks, posts, updates, and links. As Christ followers, our true north is quickly found in His character.
One way to understand the character of God is to study His word (sorry, no Cliff Notes or shortcuts allowed). Exploring His heart and mind will help you shed the “stuff” in you that runs against the grain of His holiness. Being a Christ follower online means adapting His worldview over the more tangible, contrary values of the world. Remind yourself daily of Who God is and what He expects you to be and become.
So who is God and how can we apply His attributes online? Let’s go there . . .
God is love (1 John 4:8)
God is love and He loves people; even people steeped in sin. God is patient. He is kind. He doesn’t blow His top easily and He sticks with difficult situations instead of running (I Cor. 13:4-7). In word and deed online, strive first to love people with this brand of love.
God is Holy (Psalm 99:3)
Holiness is being set apart from all that is unclean or evil. In essence, it’s rejecting much of what the world projects as valuable or worthy. God is without defect and you are to be influenced by that reality—no matter what kind of worldly chatter is going on around you.
God is good (Psalm 136:1)
God’s nature is good and His love endures forever. That means He also wants good things for people. The content you share online should reflect God’s goodness and not the world’s definition of goodness that changes daily. Be aware that “positive” people and “empowering” belief systems don’t always line up with scripture. In fact, some are the polar opposite of scripture.
God is truthful and has integrity (Numbers 23:19)
Be a protector and promoter of Truth. If you see misfacts, unsubstantiated stories, bullying, or the disparaging of others online, step in confidently (and compassionately) and inject God’s POV. In the Gospel of John, Jesus stepped into the town square where a woman was about to be stoned by the Pharisees for adultery. Jesus took the entire crowd to task with logic and integrity no one could question. One by one, each accuser dropped his rock and went home. Living with truth and integrity online and off takes courage, consistency, and a commitment to Truth.
God is faithful (1 Thessalonians 5:24)
People are not generally known for their faithfulness. They can be flaky and inconsistent but flawed behavior does not keep anyone from becoming more like Christ. If you ask the Holy Spirit He will empower you be more faithful to others and reflect the consistency, care, and character of God.
God is righteous & compassionate (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Righteous means God judges with honesty and fairness and looks at the heart with compassion. Look upon those you meet each day with that same brand of grace, fairness, and compassion.
God is wise (Romans 16:27)
God knows what He is doing and everything He does is good. If you lack wisdom, you need to ask Him for it. Literally ask God to pour insight and wisdom into you and He will. Don’t reinvent the wheel or spend 40 years in the desert wandering when God’s wisdom is yours. Read His word daily, seek His face. Gather wisdom that is critical to others online today.
God is forgiving and kind (1 John 1:9)
This is where many people look at their nets, then look at Jesus, then back to their nets . . . then head back to their village. It’s difficult for humans to reconcile forgiveness and kindness in the face of an unjust, unkind world. But God is liberal when it comes to these acts of holiness. Many would rather lived with clenched jaws and be right, justified, and vengeful. But God is calling you to that higher place; that non-human place of His character. He’s asking you to put the world’s views of right, wrong, and justice in a blender and puree what you’ve been taught about how to treat other people. God blesses even His enemies and desires that His kindness will lead them repentance so that He can forgive them (Romans 2:4).
What attributes of God do you find most challenging to reflect online?