How to Rock Twitter Like a Pharisee

by Mike Leake on March 25, 2013 · 30 comments

“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. (Matthew 6:1 ESV)

I wonder what it would look like if the Pharisees had a Twitter account. It would probably look a little like this:





Maybe it isn’t so hard to imagine…

There is a fine line between facebragging and giving God-honoring information. I’ve been working through taking the log out of my own eye before attempting to take the specs out of my brothers and sisters.

I started out by making a list of a few rules for determining if it’s God-honoring or facebragging. Then I realized that sounds too much like what a Pharisee would do. In reality it all comes down to my heart. Am I posting stuff in the hopes you’ll wake up to my awesomeness or to somehow praise the Lord and point to Him?

Here is the central question: Do I want to be seen by men or do I want to be a window by which people see the beauty of Jesus?

That is a question that I want to ask myself before I tweet things that tip-toe towards facebragging.

By the way that “My new ride” link works.

I should also mention that Twister is a crazy fun way of creating fake tweets like the ones above. To show how much fun you can have:



1 Dave Miller March 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I’m going to have to learn how to use Twister!

2 Mike Leake March 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm

I’m not sure someone your age should be playing Twister

3 Dave Miller March 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm


4 Dave Miller March 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I’m going to have to forget about this website. I am afraid I can have too much fun with it.

5 Mike Leake March 25, 2013 at 1:19 pm

I know. I had a blast doing those SmugPharisee tweets.

6 Dave Miller March 25, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I sure hope I don’t open a can of worms with that one. But, really, people have never shown much of an interest in talking about Servetus around here.

7 Joshua T March 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm


8 Mike Leake March 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

How did you get this to post in the comments?

9 Dave Miller March 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I commented, then I edited the comment and it allows you to add URLs for images. No ability to edit the image like you have for posts – at least not at my level of understanding.

10 Mike Leake March 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Thanks. I just updated it into the article.

11 Dave Miller March 25, 2013 at 9:18 pm

For the record, Mike, my tulips are all in the front yard – right where everyone can see them.

12 Mike Leake March 25, 2013 at 10:08 pm

So you are one of those aggressive Calvinists, eh?

13 Dave Miller March 25, 2013 at 1:46 pm

14 Jared Moore March 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm

I’ve heard you can do “the twist” very well.

15 Mark March 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Mike, those tweets are just like real tweets.

16 Dave Miller March 25, 2013 at 1:22 pm

We should just have a Twister open forum. Offer a prize for the best fake tweet.

17 Mike Leake March 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm

I love that idea

18 Dave Miller March 25, 2013 at 1:49 pm

By the way, Mike, since I have taken your good post in an absurd direction, I might point out that I struggle as well with the concept of “facebragging” – the fine line between praising God and calling attention to myself.

As always, excellent post.

19 Jess Alford March 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm


This post would be funny, if it wasn’t true.

20 Mike Leake March 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Enjoy the updated post!

21 svmuschany March 26, 2013 at 2:03 am

[Moderator: This link has been bothering me, so I used my moderator's magic and changed it around.]

Here’s the link.

Now, let’s see if it works as an image:

22 Dave Miller March 26, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I guess the image didn’t work.

23 Dave Miller March 26, 2013 at 4:24 pm

But the link does.

24 Jim Pemberton March 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm

It seems that there’s a fine line, if not a bit of an overlap, between self-aggrandizement and self-promotion. I suck at sales, which explains why I’m in manufacturing. But it also means that I suck at administering my own gifts. You can’t minister to someone without convincing them that you have something valuable to offer them. Self-promotion feels to me like self-aggrandizement and I think it is often read that way by others when I try it. However, in order to operate successfully in a world where anyone who is successful self-promotes, one must likewise self-promote. The other option is to sit back and wait on God to open doors for you which feels lazy.

So my question in all of this is: Where do we draw the line?

25 Mike Leake March 26, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I have a really difficult time with that line. I think a good chunk of the answer has to do with the motivation of our hearts. Do I want to be a window for people to see Jesus or do I simply want to have my name in lights.

For me I try to do minimal self-promotion. I’ll post a link to something I’ve written but I don’t do a ton of work in gathering people to read it. I figure if I love people and serve my readers they’ll eventually bring their friends. If it truly benefits people and it’s worth others reading I think it’ll be read.

I have a book being released on May 1st. One of the vows that I’ve made is that I will not retweet those who are talking about the book (for good or ill). (I’m sure I will have to make occasional exceptions to that). Maybe that’s dumb marketing…but it annoys the dickens out of me when somebody retweets someone quoting them. It’s like saying, “Hey look people are talking about me”. Who cares!?!?!

Love people. Represent Christ. Bend over backwards to serve your community. Let Christ expand your influence when he sees fit.

26 Dave Miller March 26, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Each of us are going to draw that line a little differently. I see certain people and think, “he’s all about building his reputation.” But that is a judgment. My job is to judge me and honor God myself.

It is, as Mike said, a hard line to fix firmly.

27 Mike Leake March 26, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Honestly, when I saw that picture floating around of you in that lime green dress…err suit, that was the thought that came in my head. “He’s all about building his reputation”.

On a side and serious not. I was talking about something similar with a blogger I greatly respect. He said “if it annoys me, chances are it will annoy other people as well. So I just don’t do it…”. He was talking about various practices on Twitter.

28 Dave Miller March 26, 2013 at 4:20 pm


29 Jeff Musgrave March 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Great post Mike. I now know about another site where I can waste time and put my sarcasm skills to use. :)

30 Dave Miller March 26, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Yeah, April Fools is coming…

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