Did you really want to DO that on Facebook?

A while back, I posted, Did you really want to say THAT on Facebook? so when an obscure Facebook "friend" posted this on my wall, the idea for Did you really want to DO that on Facebook? was birthed. It happens occasionally on Facebook.  I call it the I've Got a Christian Cause so the Ends Justifies the Means Disease.  This is where people send you a friend request and then never interact with you.  They never reply to or "like" any of your posts, never answer when you post on theirs, never post on your wall UNTIL...they begin asking for help with their ministry/business. I don't mind if, once in a while, one of my Facebook friends lets me know they are involved with a charity and asks for my help by posting on my wall.  If I can afford to give, the cause is something I believe in and the charity is on the up and up, I'll help.  If I can't, maybe I can simply pass along the information.  Just by virtue of it being posted on my wall, allows my Facebook friends to see the need.  However, when someone ONLY posts on my wall for the express purpose of advertising their wares or plugging even a legitimate charity in a way that smacks of spam, I see that as a problem.  Here's what I mean. This particular person posted a very long comment about his charity on one of my most popular posts of the day complete with link, hype, tear jerking story and desperate plea.  The only thing that didn't come standard was a tissue.  Notice how, as a comment on a post that had MANY replies, his request for money was automatically sent as an email to each one of the people who had replied to my completely unrelated post.  How convenient for him, hmmm? At the time, I was willing to extend grace thinking he might just be an over zealous, kind soul who didn't understand proper Facebook social networking etiquette so I left his comment there.  However, the very next day I found the exact worded, lengthy comment to my most popular post of THAT day.  I got curious to see if this was a duplicate or if this was his Modus Operandi.  Sure enough, his entire Facebook wall was replete with time stamped indices of HUNDREDs of duplicate copies of this exact comment he had left on other's posts...all of which were their most popular posts of the day!  There wasn't one post on any other topic or any evidence that he ever left a different comment when replying to anyone else.    I unfriended him.  I didn't see any use in pursuing a friendship with someone who had no desire to connect beyond asking for money. You may ask why I didn't contact him in order to share my insights about how he might find a more constructive way to share his mission with others.  I'll tell you why.  I've met Mr. I've Got a Christian Cause so the Ends Justifies the Means before.  They always sing the same song and it's a waste of precious time to attempt to show them the error of their words.  They don't have time to be nice; they are too busy doing good things.  They don't have time to communicate with each individual; they are doing the Lord's work.  It doesn't matter how they communicate; God demands boldness.  If others take offense, so be it; I'm blessed to be a martyr for Christ. God's Word is filled with scripture that tells us to speak in grace.  Over 4500 scriptures deal with our mouths, tongues, lips and words alone!  The ends don't justify the means in sharing your God-given mission or your faith any more than it does when you are trying to gain success or money. The next time you are tempted to post something bold knowing that some might take offense, think about two things: 1) Does God really want you to say THIS?  and 2) HOW would God want you to say this?   In trying to answer question two, reflect on a few of those 4500 scriptures. "Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man." Colossians 4:6
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." Ephesians 4:29
"-So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Issaiah 55:11
"An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of the citadel." Proverbs 18:19
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer.  Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula.  You can also find JoJo on web sites such as Crosswalk.com and Dr.Laura.com.  For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit http://www.ArtofEloquence.com X If you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to our RSS Feed so you don’t miss one and SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter: for even MORE communication fun, FREE gifts, Book of the Month Club and exclusive excerpts and offers we don’t share with ANYONE else but our subscribers! X


  • jojosblog

    Merit, I think what is appropriate on your own Facebook page depends upon why you are on Facebook and who is your friend. It’s kind of like a blog in a way. I think it’s important to set the tone for your Facebook page just as it is for your blog or website. Then folks can decide if they want to follow you based on that.

    If you are there just to connect with family and people you know in “real life,” as long as you are respectful, usually you should have no trouble posting about your religious and political beliefs. If they don’t subscribe to your political beliefs, they have probably heard you talk about them before so, unless you have a family member who is hostile, you shouldn’t have a problem.

    If you are on Facebook to meet new people who have similar beliefs and values, this might be a bit more of an issue unless you define yourself well in your bio. When folks see that you are a Christian conservative, for example, they probably wouldn’t request a friendship with you if they had a problem with your beliefs.

    If you are on Facebook with a mission to share a cause, this might be more of an issue. For example, I know folks who join Facebook in order to share the Gospel or a political cause. They accept friendships from people of all beliefs in order to share with them. There are those who will send a friend request in order to heckle so that could become an issue where you’d need to defend your faith or your political beliefs. I talk a great deal about how to do this in Say What You Mean: Defending the Faith and Say What You Mean: Debating the Issues.

    My advice is to think about the purpose for your presence on Facebook, make sure you define that well in your bio, make sure that is VISIBLE to those who are not yet your friends so that they can see who you are before choosing to friend you, and pray about how God would have you share.

    Know that whatever your purpose and whatever you share, there may be times when you will have to deal with a polarizing issue. I just posted about a silly holiday of for left handers and had a bunch of people unfriend me! You never know what someone may say. That is why it’s critical to learn to communicate effectively so you can handle the situations as they arise.

    Thanks so much for your kind comments about my blog and my Facebook posts. No matter what I feel God leads me to share, I always try to do it in grace. That way, someone may disagree with me, but it would be more difficult to become upset with me about it because my tone is respectful.

  • Carla

    I’ve been a “victim” of this type of Christian hit and run, too. Like you, if the person is a regular contributor to my status posts, I have no problem with an occasional plea from a ministry. They have to advertise somewhere, somehow, right? But when you get the same thing 3 days in a row (as in my case) from someone who has never posted Boo or commented, I simply remove them. The first time, I contacted the person and asked for some info and, as you say, tried to explain to them the error of their words. . . heh-heh-heh. This person got nasty with me, so was quickly unfriended. Now I just remove them if it’s this type of endless solicitation and that’s the only reason they have friended me.

  • Merit K

    Thanks JoJo. I agree that type of FB behavior amounts to just using people! Another thing I always wonder about is if I will bother others, when I post something supportive of a political candidate or issue I agree with. I want to be able to show what I think about things on my personal page, but not offend anyone- what do you think about sharing “political” stuff? Is is too “polarizing” or are most people “grown-up” enough to deal with the fact that we may not agree on everything? Your blogs and FB posts are always edifying- That guy is missing out :)

  • Merit K

    Thanks for replying JoJo – that was helpful! I loved all the comments and insights on this post too y’all, thx!

  • jojosblog

    Excellent point, Cindy!

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