Today’s devotion is from Jonathan Golder.

Read Psalm 18: 25 – 36

The news headlines have changed. For months I couldn’t wait until newsreaders discussed something other than Brexit. Unfortunately, that change has been for something so harrowing that it is difficult to read each day. Now, the news has changed again and with the events of the last few weeks that we have seen, so we have seen some strong voices and movements on social media.

You will all, I’m sure, have your own opinions on whether social media is good or bad, useful or unhelpful. I have no shame in admitting that social media is now to a certain degree, scaring me. You have to conform to what people are demanding. If your views are not aligned with theirs, then you face ridicule and judgement. You have to conform, and it’s not enough just to merely agree, you have to be seen to be acting. I have recently seen posts from people suggesting we should remove any friends that are of a certain political persuasion and others encouraging rioting.

What society wants is dictated by the extremities of social media. It is not there for everyone, it does not accept everyone, and it throws out those who will not conform. People’s real beliefs come pouring out.

For some of you, this is not an issue and you have no interest in using different social media platforms. However, you will still engage with people who do and who are affected by the issues above.

Therefore, it is so important now to recognise that your life, your beliefs and your decisions you make are not dictated by social media.

It can often feel like a scary time to be a Christian. Although we live in a society where we have so much to be grateful for as Christians, it often feels like the walls of free speech and being able to share our beliefs are closing in more and more. For fear of offending large groups of people around you, we find that sometimes, it is better to keep our opinions to ourselves.

Yet, what if there are others out there who also have this fear of the voices that are dictating our society. Telling us how we must live and behave. We have something which speaks real truth, and offers love and kindness. It offers a way to live your life that will give you peace. It offers a Saviour who will give you rest and eternal life. If you are struggling to know where your voice is because of the severity of what you see online, know that it is the word of God that forms your beliefs and decisions, not social media. It is the Bible that gives you a purpose to live for, not social media. It is the Bible that gives you truth and shows you the way, not social media.

If you want to know how to be a voice, you have a hope to offer people in the darkness that gives so much more than what people have currently. The alternative is so fragile that it is being held by the thinnest of threads. Yet, what we trust in is held in the hands of God.

Jesus, we praise you that you are the Way, the Truth and the Life. It’s so good to know you because of that. Forgive us, Jesus, for letting social media become our source and our creator, instead of you. Help us not to fear the things we feel pressurised to conform to, and to delight in the good things you conform us to in your Word. Thank you, God, that in you is freedom that comes with peace, not peer pressure. Let us walk in that freedom, a mind tethered to your Word walking free. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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