6 ways to navigate the digital sphere wisely

Pastor Josiah Tay // May 8, 2024, 12:14 pm

As believers, how do we navigate the digital space in a manner that's in alignment to God's word? Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash.

As believers, how do we navigate the digital space in a manner that's in alignment to God's word? Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash.

Today’s digital landscape offers almost limitless opportunities for ministry, connection and learning.

Yet, it also presents challenges that require discernment and wisdom.

As believers, how do we navigate the digital space in a manner that’s in alignment to God’s word?

3 ways to embrace the digital space purposefully

In the Bible, there are several passages about people using God-given gifts to improve their lives (Exodus 35:31-35; 2 Chronicles 26:15).

Technology is a gifted tool that was created for our usage. However, it needs to be used appropriately and with a purpose.

Here are some ways we can embrace technology purposefully:

1. Harness its benefits for the Gospel

Technology exponentially increases our ability to share the Gospel and connect with fellow believers.

Communication and social media platforms can be used with purpose to share the Good News, for example through daily ‘Good Morning’ WhatsApp pictures, Instagram reels or TikTok videos.

2. Be intentional about using it for good

Biblical principles, such as doing all things for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31), should guide the way we use technology.

This means that believers are to be even more intentional with digital content and interactions as they would with personal and face-to-face engagements.

Will we hide behind a screen to make unkind statements about one another? Or will we find a way to build someone up (Ephesians 4:29)?

3. Use it to complement in-person fellowship

While on the surface it may look like more connections are taking place in the digital space, many feel isolated as the human touch is missing. It is difficult to read body language and tones while interacting online.

Consider using the digital space as a means for a first-step connection. Thereafter, work towards a face-to-face connection.

The early church, as described in Acts, was characterised by deep, genuine relationships and communal living. Believers “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).

Embracing technology purposefully does not mean negating physical gatherings. Rather, we can use the digital sphere to enhance these gatherings by, for example, sharing new technologies, platforms to connect and resources.

Next time you have a cell gathering, bring a Virtual Reality set and enjoy laughing at one another.

3 pitfalls to avoid in the digital space

Despite its benefits, the digital sphere can be fraught with spiritual pitfalls like distractions, scams and temptations. Thus, we need wisdom to guard our hearts and minds. 

Proverbs 4:23 reminds us: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Here are four things we should guard our hearts from as we navigate the digital space:

1. Using unkind words

While in the digital space, it is easy to leave unkind comments under the guise of anonymity.

This is where we can listen to Paul’s advice to “not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs” (Ephesians 4:29).

Whether commenting on social media, participating in forums or just sharing content, our words should be filtered through the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Would we apologise if we made a mistake or said something unwholesome online?

2. Consuming harmful or unhelpful content

Philippians 4:8 exhorts believers to think about “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy”. This piece of wisdom should guide our consumption and sharing of digital content too.

The verse challenges us to engage with content that uplifts and educates, steering clear of that which might degrade or mislead our minds.

As believers, do we search for content to fit what we want to hear, or do we ask the Lord to show us what might be important, yet painful, to digest in the journey of spiritual maturity?

3. Replacing time with God with time on our devices

It is easy to become consumed by the digital space to the point where it influences our thoughts and actions. Spending too much time online can also cut ourselves off from relationships that truly matter.

As believers, we must ensure that the gift of the digital sphere does not take us away from the Giver.

We should be aware about the amount of time we spend online. Setting boundaries, such as specific times of the day for a digital detox, can help us to ensure that our technology does not replace our time spent with God.

Perhaps the upcoming 40 Days of fasting and prayer for Singapore can be a chance for us to fast from social media so that we can hear better from our Saviour.

YouTube sermons or TikTok videos cannot replace God’s voice. These platforms are not equivalent to the Person of Jesus Christ.

As believers, we must ensure that the gift of the digital sphere does not take us away from the Giver.

Will you take five minutes now to say a prayer of thanksgiving to our Lord for His creation of the digital space, and ask for His wisdom to navigate it for His glory?


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About the author

Pastor Josiah Tay

Pastor Josiah is a tech-savvy geek with a passion for guitar melodies and running for Jesus (literally).