WWJS (What Would Jesus Say) with Matthew West
Navigating Social Media
In a recent interview, renowned contemporary Christian artist Matthew West shared some candid thoughts that shed light on how we should approach social media as Christians, urging us to reflect Christ’s love, uphold authenticity, show kindness, maintain balance and stay strong in these dark times.
In today’s digital age, social media has become a significant platform for expressing and sharing our views. It’s easy for any of us to get swept up in the chaos of online dialogue, forgetting that our words and actions should mirror the teachings of Christ.
“Social media has so many upsides,” Matthew began, “but as a Christian community, we are failing each other there in a lot of ways.” He posed the question –
“How do we, as a Christian community start getting back to representing Jesus in that space?”
In reply to his own question, Matthew referenced John 13:35. “‘They will know we are Christians by our love,’ comes to mind when I think about the hate and the ugliness on social media.”
Living in the public spotlight, Matthew and his family are no strangers to unkindness via social media. He shared, “I posted a picture of my wife and my daughters, and I was just bragging on my amazing family, and how blessed I am. They were all dressed up for a special event. My wife called me all upset because of all these comments coming in on Facebook, criticizing the way my daughters were dressed, calling us ‘bad parents.’”
“Everybody’s got an opinion, and everybody thinks everybody needs to hear their opinion. It’s so easy to just sit back and play judge.”
Matthew shared, “I wrote a line once. I never put it in the song, but it was like, ‘They’re looking for love, but would rather play judge.’ And that idea turned into a song called ‘Truth Be Told.’”
There’s a sign on the door, says, “Come as you are” but I doubt it,
‘Cause if we lived like it was true, every Sunday morning pew would be crowded.
“Social media should be a representation of the love you received in Christ, and His love causes you to give out. It’s not a place to hide, where you can get into battles and fight. Whether we’re just talking to somebody directly or on social media, they will know we were Christians by love.”
Comparison is the thief of joy.
“Social media can mess me up, as an artist. Even if I have successes, social media can make you feel like it’s not enough success.”
Matthew touched on the importance of balance in our screen time. Spending endless hours on social media can lead us to lose sight of what truly matters. Matthew said, “Everybody’s fighting in a heart battle. When you’re on [social media], realize that it’s the highlight reels [we see], and we’re all living in real life.”
By setting healthy boundaries, we can ensure that social media serves us, rather than the other way around. “We want authenticity. We want honesty; we want real. Social media can really do a number on all of us,” Matthew admits. “As a dad of two daughters, I’m seeing it happen. Day in and day out, I’m just trying to navigate that.”
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