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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Five Ways to Encourage Others Using Social Media

Life has its challenges. Every human being on the face of the earth has issues. People go through tough times. In general, the world isn’t fair.

I look on social media, hoping to see some happy stuff.

And, what do I see? Traffic accidents, sicknesses, reports of horrible crimes, injustices, and thankfully, some cute kids and puppies, pretty sunsets, encouraging Bible passages, and wise quotes. So, it’s not all bad.

It makes me think, though.

I want to: encourage, help, be a blessing and share blessings, spread God's Word, share beauty, or make someone laugh.

Now, I think it’s great that people share prayer requests. I actually make it part of my ministry to pray for people’s concerns—many of them shared on social media. That is a good use of social media. Hundreds of friends can pray for one urgent need in a matter of minutes. Awesome!

I’m wondering, though, if it’s helpful to share graphic awfulnesses? (I just made up that word.) Let me share how some of them affect me. (Maybe I'm weird???)
  • I see a traffic accident or a plane crash. I immediately think of my relatives or friends who might be on that particular road or flying on that day. I usually panic a little if it’s close to where loved ones live. After all, awful things happen. I live over 4,000 miles away from my family. Can you imagine what I go through? I’m not naturally a worrier. I’m just sharing what a crumpled car or plane picture does to me.
  •  I hear of a shooting, an injustice, a rape, or a break-in—again, in a neighborhood near people I love—and it’s like a kick to the gut. Maybe it’s because the computer is right before my face, and I see the image full on.
Conversely, if I see an image of a beautiful scene, a flower, a happy family, a song in church, or a nice quote or verse, it uplifts my soul and makes me smile. I even enjoy people’s clean, humorous posts. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine (Proverbs 17:22a).

In the Bible, some people were known as encouragers:
  • Moses always encouraged the children of Israel to do right. He led them, helped them with their problems, and represented them in prayer to God.
  • Abraham obeyed God and encouraged his nephew Lot, even rescuing him from his enemies.
  • Mordecai took in his niece and was always there for her, even after she became queen. He thwarted an assassination plan against the king. He also had an acute sense that he should watch out for his people, the Jews.
  • Barnabas is probably the best-known encourager in the Bible. He took the Apostle Paul under his wing, also his nephew John Mark. He worked with people of different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Dorcas was a lady who encouraged the poor. She made them clothes and doubtless, took care of their needs.
  • Lydia was a wealthy woman and a new Christian. She opened her home to the disciples.

I believe Christians should be the best encouragers on the planet. Here’s why:
  • A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another (John 13:34, words of Jesus).
  • Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another (Romans 12:10).
  • For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another (Galatians 5:13).
  • Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Colossians 3:16).
  • Edify one another, even as also ye do (1 Thessalonians 5:11b).
  • And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works (Hebrews 10:24).
  • And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment (2 John 3:23).

So, the next time we post something, we can ask ourselves:
  1. Is it encouraging? Will this help my friends in some way?
  2. Is it beautiful? Gorgeous photos refresh the heart.
  3. Is it a positive message? Can this help a struggling person? Is it pointing people to Christ? Is it uplifting in some way?
  4. Is it edifying? Will my post strengthen Christians?
  5. Is it merely keeping in touch? These would include family photos and things of interest. Of course, these are fine!

Social media is, by it’s nature, reaching out to others. 

Let’s encourage someone today!

In lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3b).

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