Young kids love to dress up and pretend to be somebody else.
Whether it’s Elsa or Buzz Lightyear, they love to play another character.
Adults also enjoy pretending to be someone else, often at a costume party or a masquerade ball.
Sometimes we pretend to be someone else on social media.
Even though Facebook requires the use of real names, people don’t always act in a way that matches their real-life persona.
Sometimes this can be a form of social ‘makeup’, where we try to appear our very best when we’re sharing our photos or making comments.
At other times we keep silent about our beliefs and opinions, especially when discussion rages about controversial matters like same-sex marriage.
We can also appear different to the real world when our comments, likes, and shares clash with the person we claim to be at church or in our daily communities.
There’s a constant temptation to have a different ‘face’ when we’re on Facebook.
In his first letter, the Apostle Peter warns Christians to “rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.” (1 Peter 2:1.)
This means that when we’re online we need to avoid hypocrisy by making sure we don’t have a different ‘face’ to our real-life persona.
The person we are when we’re engaging with Facebook needs to be the same person we are when we’re chatting in the real world with friends, family and colleagues.
And the motivation is simple and powerful: we “have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23)
God’s word has given us a radical new life, and we are called to live this life online as well as offline, to God’s glory.
This is an excerpt of Jodie’s upcoming seminar at this year’s MTS Mission Minded Conference called, “Can I be a Christian and on social media at the same time?”