Ephesians 4:29 - Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. Some of you may know that I rarely log onto FaceBook. I’ve Tweeted twice. I Don’t Instagram and I’ve been mispronouncing “Pinterest” since it first came out. It’s not that I don’t see the value in Social Media. I really do. It is a wonderful way to communicate with your friends, family and the world. In fact, our church has a FaceBook page. I think a big reason I don’t venture into these sites on very often, is that when I do, I often feel like I’ve just walked into a Frat house, or a locker room, or one of those roadhouses where they have to place the band behind a cage. I think as disciples of Jesus Christ, we can and should be a light on what is often a dark place. Besides, I think if Jesus or the apostle Paul were standing here before us, they would have expectations of Jesus’ followers of his way. But before I go any further, I want to say that I don’t wish to judge anybody, or make you feel bad for past posts… or maybe even about you are posting right now. Instead, I think that we can use something as powerful as social media for the good of edifying God’s kingdom and Glorifying God. These expectations are not numbered in any particular order of importance. But since our reading today in Ephesians 4, Paul tells us to not let evil come out of our mouths first, I’m going to start with the negative expectations. If you are going to be a disciple, please don’t use foul words on your posts. James says, From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Please No phishing, When Jesus said, come and follow me, I will make you fishers of people, he meant F I S H... not PHISHING… phishing is when you post one word and hope to get as many people to react to your one word statement. Said people usually respond by… What’s wrong? As disciples, we should be straightforward with Good news rather than overly dramatic. Political statements – Pay “care”ful attention. Check before you send that you are not being divisive. Scripture – Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar's.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” Matthew 22:17-21 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every. From 1 Timothy 2:1-2 Also from Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. While we are on the note of respecting others… let’s be mindful of people who are not like us… even if we are absolutely “certain” they are displaying unchrist like behavior. There is something to be said about judging others. People who have not yet turned their lives over to Christ are watching us and to see us being hateful to other human beings is a real turn off to them.. and to God. In Romans 3:22-23 Paul said, when it comes to the law or the commandments, “there is no distinction between those who believe and those who don’t For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,… As John Wesley said, Commandments are also promises because God enables us to keep them. Unfortunately, most Christians are unaware of this connection and Christianity degenerates either into moralism or into complacent self-assurance. Be respectful of others’ opinions even if you don’t agree with them. Please keep lewd or suggestive comments and photos off the Social Media – Hey children are on there. Young and old alike! Paul said, and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way.” – Eph. 4:19-20 Don’t put your personal business up there… Don’t hide your lamp, share the light of Christ! Be the salt and the light! Use Social Media to edify Christ’s Holy church! Be positive! Help people see things through the eyes of Jesus.. by showing the world how to see the world as half full rather than half empty. Share the Word of God! Rejoice Sing Praises to God! Paul said in Ephesians - but only what is useful for building up,[b] as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. Amen! Church And he Said in Ephesians 4 1-5 !.... I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. Proclaim to the World that God is Great!!! For those of you who utilize Social Media, will you please consider abiding by these expectations? If anything, I think when we don’t- we also hurt ourselves, as our negative actions or denial of offering the love of Christ to others moves us away from God, if only for a moment. But one moment away from God is a moment that’s too long.