By Jeff Mingee
The apostle Paul wanted young Titus to thrive as a church leader. He left him in Crete to bring order and establish godly leadership (Titus 1:5). He warned Titus of the particular cultural challenges he would face in Crete (Titus 1:12-13) as well as the presence of false teachers (Titus 1:10). He encouraged Titus with the hope that God himself was at work (Titus 1:2-3).
In Titus 2:1-10, Paul turns his attention from the non-Christians in Crete to the Christians in this young church. He addresses multiple groups in hopes of helping Titus shepherd them towards godliness in their stage of life. Paul’s words offer modern Christians some practical wisdom as they navigate social media platforms. Whether you are a tech-savvy young person or a tech-challenged old person, whether you are scrolling your way through a midlife moment or abandoning social media as part of Gen Z, you need to think biblically about how and if you post.
Before you post, here are three questions Paul’s words in Titus 2:1-10 encourage us to ask:
1. Does it accord with sound doctrine?
Having warned Titus of those who “profess to know God but deny him by their works” (Titus 1:16), Paul emphatically warned the young pastor, “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Paul expected Titus to teach truth, always and only.
Sound doctrine should govern both Titus’ pulpit and your social media posts. You may not be in the habit of processing your posts through a theological grid. But you cannot afford to set your theology to the side when it comes to social media. Your posts matter.
So ask yourself: Does this post accord with sound doctrine? Or does it imply another gospel? Does it suggest that God is unkind or uninvolved in this world? Does it celebrate something that sound doctrine clearly condemns?
Your digital life can adorn the gospel, or it can discredit the gospel.
2. Am I self-controlled in posting?
Among the repeated exhortations in Titus 2:1-10 is the call to self-control (Titus 1:2, 5, 6). Paul expected Titus to teach the church how to practice self-control as an outworking of the gospel. Similarly, Christian you should post from a position of self-control as opposed to posting in a moment of being out of control.
You are not in control when you are in a furious rage. If you can feel your veins bulging through your neck, you probably shouldn’t post. That’s not the moment to respond to that heretical tweet. You are not in control when you are posting as an effort to cover up pain with a picture-perfect Instagram story. If we’re honest, we may find that many of our posts are made in moments in which we are not in control. We’re governed by a desire to impress, a hope that we can appear confident and successful, or in a responsive and reactive posture. None of those are self-control that is in accordance with sound doctrine.
Christian, remember what is true. Meditate on sound doctrine. Then, when you are self-controlled, post.
3. Does it adorn the gospel?
Paul exhorted Titus to teach “what accords with sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). He aimed that the young women would live in such a way “that the word of God may not be reviled” (Titus 2:5). He explained that bondservants were to live “so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (Titus 2:10). Sound doctrine was to shine beautifully from the pulpit and through the lives of those in the church.
John Stott explains, “Our lives can bring either adornment or discredit to the gospel” (Bible Speaks Today, p. 192). Christian, the same is true of your digital life. Your digital life can adorn the gospel, or it can discredit the gospel.
The gospel is the chief beauty of the Christian life. Whether on a foriegn mission field or posting on our social media account, we are to advance the gospel. What better news can we offer than Christ crucified for sinners? What more delightful doctrine could we declare? What more precious subject should be the object of our posts?