I’ve had the pleasure this school year of teaching the 7-12th grade Sunday school class at my church in a study through Matthew’s Gospel. We’ve got a really bright bunch of teens who are very good at thinking deeply about the implications and applications of the text.
We had some especially engaging discussions in Matthew 6, which begins in verse 1: “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” We talked about how we should be giving, praying and fasting in a way such that we guard against doing it in a way so as to be seen by others.
How striking is the warning of Matthew 6. Yet daily I see pastors (and those who aspire to be pastors copying those chatty pastors) posting 140-character personal prayers. Are they not doing the social media equivalent of standing and praying “in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others” (Matthew 6:5)? So that they can be re-Tweeted or like-buttoned?
Why do those need to be on Twitter or Facebook? Is it so that they are seen by others?
Encouraging others to pray using social media is probably just fine. Using social media so that your prayers can be seen by others? I think Scripture counsels against that.
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”
Don’t let that be you.