A few years ago, my neighbor removed the fence between his yard and mine. To be honest, I was glad to see it go. It made mowing difficult. My lawnmower was always getting caught underneath it, and don't even get me started about how difficult it was to trim around it. In addition, it made playing catch in the backyard a pain in more ways than one. The only problem now that it's gone is I don't know exactly where the property line is. Sometimes when I mow my yard I have to stop to figure out exactly which side of the line I'm on.
When it comes to social media, pastors and church leaders would do well to ask ourselves that question. We frequently post about our ministry. We share who we've met with, where we've been, and what we've read for our morning devotions. We post pictures of our lunch appointments, share our witnessing encounters, and tweet about our prayers. Why do we do this?
I know that such posts can be an encouragement to our people. It helps us channel Paul and say, "imitate me as I imitate Christ" with integrity. It lets the people we serve and the folks who pray for us know what's going in our ministries. In addition to encouraging others, posts like these have a way of holding us accountable. And, all of these are good reasons to share these things on social media.
But, with that said, I can't help but think of Jesus' rebuke of the religious leaders of His day (Matthew 6:1-8). They are dressed in a way that draws attention to themselves when they fast. They prayed for the applause of men. They gave alms in a way that drew attention to themselves. Just think, if they had social media, they simply could have just posted a status or shared a selfie online.
I wonder how often our hearts are guilty of this same sort of pride. Pride is subtle. It distorts our motives in such a way that we take those things that are good and use them in the wrong way (or at least with the wrong focus). The line between noble intentions and prideful purposes is so difficult to see that it's easy for us to cross. Unfortunately, the fence that separates the two is gone. So, it would do us well to take a minute before we click "post" or "publish" and ask ourselves which side of the line are we on.