Remember those bracelets that read: What Would Jesus do?
I think they were so popular because they were a constant reminder to keep our actions in line with Jesus: to be the embodiment of His message of love.
As the culture rapidly changes, and our screen time reports keep increasing, it’s so important that we carry that same reminder into our digital lives. So today, I have an interesting question for you: What if JESUS had an Instagram? 💡
What Would Jesus Post?
As I swipe through my pictures—photos of me ministering to people at conferences, old and new memories of family, friends, and the amazing people at our church—I wonder what kind of photos Jesus would post.
Would Jesus post a picture of a rose bush in bloom, bedazzled with diamond-like drops of fresh mist and post: #Godswork #nailedit #nevergetsold with a bunch of heart emojis? ❤️❤️❤️Just the thought of it makes me laugh!
Would there be a caption, or would He let the photo do the talking? Would Jesus use a filter, or would He be opposed to masking God’s natural creation?
Do you think Jesus would be a proponent of selfies?
As much as the thought of Jesus with a selfie stick makes me giggle, the only way to get to the truth is to go to God’s Word and apply it to the question.
Philippians 2:5-8 says,
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
We know that Jesus was incredibly self-LESS; He was never about receiving glory, but giving glory back to God.
Instead of posing for selfies, I think Jesus’s Instagram would probably be used as an incredible tool to share the Good News of the Gospel with others… never to tear people down, but to encourage others and put the focus back on them. I think the goal of Jesus’s Instagram would be the same as His goal while He was walking the earth—to bring people’s attention back to God, and to glorify Him in everything. 🙌
The mission of most Instagram accounts is to show your followers how you see the world, but I think the mission of Jesus’s Instagram would be to show His followers how to see God in the world!
Can we say the same for our Instagram accounts?
Does thinking about these questions make us look at our own social use differently? When you look at your Instagram, what is the ratio of selfies to non-selfies? Do your pictures reflect your God-given passions or your desire to be popular, to gain followers and likes?
Jesus warned us about being double-minded, about trying to serve the world and serve God. Hello, #recipefordisaster!
Can we really call ourselves Christians if we take off our faith, like an old hat, as soon as our social app launches and make it about ourselves?
How Would Jesus Handle Trolls?
We have all dealt with Internet trolls: those special people who deal out cyber anger, hate, and judgment in high volume.
How would Jesus handle Internet trolls? Would He ignore them, embrace them, or maybe just delete them and pray for them? 🤔
I know from personal experience that it is incredibly difficult to not engage with trolls. These are strangers who go after your peace of mind with words and who hide behind their computer screens, BUT Jesus was not about hate and anger. EVER.
In ALL things, He talked about love AND walked it out. Jesus was a teacher, and He knew that the most important thing a good teacher can do is provide the lesson and apply it in real life.
For example, when the townspeople brought Him a woman who was accused of adultery, Jesus said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7).
Jesus didn’t condemn her; He forgave her sin.
Jesus applied God’s heart to so many people, over and over. 💖 He never missed an opportunity to walk out the love of God. #deartrolls #jesuslovesyou
Not only would Jesus not engage in anger with an Internet troll, but also I believe He would discourage His followers from ganging up on the troll as well.
To be honest, if I saw someone attacking Jesus on Instagram, I would feel angry and upset. I would want to rush in and defend Him and all He has done for the world, myself included! I see this play out online so much. The celebrity being attacked doesn’t defend themselves or engage, but they sit back and let their followers rally and verbally eviscerate the troll. #nobueno #letitgo
First, Jesus doesn’t need our protection. Second, think about when Peter cut off the ear of Malchus, one of the guards who came to arrest Jesus. “Jesus commanded Peter, ‘Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?’” (John 18:11).
In Luke 6:35 Jesus tells us,
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”
Jesus would take the opportunity to demonstrate God’s love!
Consider this. If you are a Christian, and you engage with a troll and trade anger and judgment instead of offering forgiveness, your actions are not in line with Jesus’s teaching. In fact, your actions could turn someone away from Jesus! 😱
As social media becomes a bigger part of the culture, it’s so important to see social media through our lens of faith: to remember that the rules don’t change when we get behind our computers. #faith #ownit
We are called to be lights of God’s love in this world, and we are called to apply Jesus’s lessons face-to-face as well as online. Not only that, but we are called to evangelize for our faith, and that call doesn’t stop when we push the power button on the computer.