Friday, February 08, 2013

Technology and the Christian - Part 6

See previous posts for context (Part 1 here; Part 5 here)

The Bible tells us to flee idolatry. The natural tendency when one reads an article such as this one is to go immediately into self-defense mode and to deny that anything close to idolatry exists in our lives. A more prudent reaction would be to go to God humbly and ask him to reveal to us any areas of our life where he is not first. Ask him for wisdom to determine whether something about technology – having it, jealousy of others, pride and boasting in social media or anything else has become an idol.

The Bible tells us in 1 John 2:15 that we should not love the world. A love of the world is an indication that the love of the Father is not in us. John then goes on to tell us what things demonstrate this love of the world. 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.”

I'm sure if we look carefully and think deeply, we can see that there is potential for each of these three characteristics of worldly focus to be present in our use of technology. As Christians, let's take steps to recognize God in his proper place and put our technology in its proper place – a place of helpfulness and productivity, but not the place of control and mastery. As Paul said, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.  1 Corinthians 6:12 (Emphasis mine)

Here are some steps that might help us determine whether some technology (or anything) is becoming an idol in our lives.

  1. Evaluate the amount of time you spend with technology playing games, mindlessly hopping around the Internet, checking Facebook posts, etc., compared to the amount of time you spend in the scriptures, praying, meditating, etc.
  2. Examine the attraction of the technology compared to the attraction of other things. When you first get up in the morning, is your first instinct to check Facebook or email, or do you get showered, dressed, and have devotions before checking in with our technology?
  3. Ask yourself how you would feel if you had a technology free week with the only exception being voice phone calls. Is the feeling similar to the feeling you would have if you missed your Bible reading, prayer and church attendance for a week?

When you follow the trail of your time, energy, affection, and money, you find a throne. And whatever or whomever is on that throne is the object of your worship. ~Louie Giglio

Part 7 available once it's been published here.

PDF version of the entire series

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