Salt of the Earth: The Gospel & Social Media?

Vlogger recording social media video while sitting on the couch
Picture of Trey Simon
Trey Simon

Would Jesus rate us based on our number of likes, subscriptions, and views? Or by the magnitude of our influence? If we measure ourselves by the same criteria as the rest of the world, haven’t we lost our saltiness and effectiveness in it?

Would Jesus measure his effectiveness in social media by views and likes?

Social media is not the sole purpose of our lives, nor should it be the measure of our effectiveness in this world. God does not need us to create a following. He needs to use us to carry out his will

Now you may be thinking, “But Jesus had followers!” And yes, he did. But He also made disciples (Luke 9:1). Disciples are different than followers. A disciple is someone who hears the call to follow (Mark 1:16-18). That takes time and patience, not instant gratification.

What if we measured our effectiveness by how many people we were following? What if we measured ourselves by how many followers we had, or how many people liked what we posted?

If you do this, then it doesn’t matter if you are rich or give your possessions to the poor. It doesn’t matter if you feed the hungry, care for the sick and visit those in prison (Matthew 25:35-40). If you’re not getting subscribers, likes, and views on social media then your work is likely in vain.

But is that how we are supposed to live? I don’t think so.

Jesus didn’t come to start a following or build a platform, He came to give His life for the world (John 3:16). God does not need us to create a following. He needs to use us.

It’s time to use our saltiness in this world, not measure ourselves by the amount of likes and subscribers we have. Our value is in the sacrifice that Christ made in becoming part of this world in order that He may take away its sin (Hebrews 9:11-14). And it’s time for us to be transformed in order that we may be salt and light (Matthew 5:13-14).

Why would Jesus prefer to be influential instead of having a lot of friends?

As a Christian content creator, I would much rather have two disciples than 10,000 subscribers. And one who comes to know Christ because of my content is well worth it over gaining thousands of people whom I will never influence for the Kingdom.

As someone who spends many hours each week creating Christian media, none of these things are ends in themselves. We hope that what we create will draw people to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and build up the body (1 Cor. 12:12).

We must be careful about how we view social media, for all too often it can become an idol (Exodus 20:3-5). We are given a lot of promises in scripture that if we seek first God’s Kingdom, everything else will be added to us (Matthew 6:33).

Getting likes and views may feel good in the moment, but they are false promises. To seek social media influence is to seek after something that does not last. It’s like chasing bubbles. If we chase likes, subscribers, and views then our affections for these things will eventually start to control us.

We must seek after the real thing, the eternal things (1 Corinthians 3:12-17). Social media can be a great tool for good, but it should never rule over our lives or become our God. And it’s time that we put away this idolatry and instead seek first the Kingdom of God.

5 questions you can ask yourself if you think you are in danger of losing your saltiness?

Here are some questions you should ask yourself if you think your social media may be taking priority over being salt and light.

Do I post more about what I’m doing, or how I feel about what God is doing?

Am I really seeking after ways to glorify, honor, and bring glory to God with my content? Or am I just trying to get likes/views/subscribers, so I can feel good about myself?

Do my posts give practical examples of how to live out the gospel in everyday life? Or am I mainly sharing opinions or telling people what they should believe?

Is my text and images communicating a message that is redemptive and edifying, or am I just trying to draw attention to myself?

Am I posting because it’s my duty or responsibility, or because I want to?

Be the salt of the earth on social media.

don’t let social media control you. Instead, use it to glorify and honor God in all that you do, so that He is given the glory and praise for what is done through you.

Remember: there’s nothing wrong with wanting more likes and views, but when that becomes our motive behind our content and posts, then it’s time to repent.

Your success is not measured by your number of likes, subscribers or views. Instead, it’s measured by the magnitude of influence you have on others. [And the real impact of our influence may never be seen on this side of eternity Hebrews 11: 1-40]

The work we do to share God’s love and truth through social media is a great opportunity for us to shine for His glory. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

It’s time to put away the idols of likes, followers, comments, views, etc. Let’s instead seek first Jesus’ kingdom. To do that, we have to die to ourselves. “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself” (Matthew 16:24).

Yes, it’s true social media can be addicting. It’s so easy for us to get caught up in the moment. Digital adrenaline is a very real thing. Once you feel that rush of adrenaline for the first time, it’s hard to give it up. But when we are so addicted to “likes” and followers that they control us, then we have lost perspective on what our true mission is here on earth. Let’s not forget that Jesus came so that people would see His light through the good works He did (John 9:3, John 12:37-41).