Last week, I got a new phone - a smartphone. Yes, I’m a late adopter. But I have my reasons; undoubtedly some of them will come out as I write. In essence, this post is prompted by the culture’s obsession with smartphones, and the slavery they hold over the minds and time of my generation. If you don’t believe me, take the BART during rush hour, or go to a popular restaurant during dinner and look around; you’ll see how we waste our lives playing and watching on tiny screens. Time, all time, ought to be used for the glory of God – I doubt that anyone can successfully argue that incessant video streaming and games and entertainment fits under 1 Corinthians 10:31. The waste and folly is a tragedy.
Of course, this may seem trivial in comparison with the glories of heaven and the passion of missions and the study of the Scriptures. And, in comparison, it is trivial. But then again, I’m writing this more for myself than for anyone who would read it. It’s an attempt to constrain myself, and to hold myself accountable before those that will read this. I will not fall prey to the current of this culture. I will not be a slave to my phone. I cannot; my God is too glorious.
Maybe, you should consider how you use your phone/gadgets/technology too. Make your own resolves about your smartphone, and how you use it; here are mine:
1. It is for the Glory of God
This phone is to be used, like all things, for the glory of God and to the benefit of sinners. All things that can come through this smart phone will be evaluated by how effectively and consistently they accomplish this goal. My schedule, to do list, pray items, notes, etc. are all on this tool that I may be more effective in fulfilling His commands to love Him and be a faithful steward of all things He has given me.
2. It is a Reading Device
This phone is to be used to consume the Scriptures, to read extra-biblical books, and to learn. That means it is to be used to redeem all of the idle moments and turn them into times of refreshing and instruction.
3. It is a Sermon Archive
This phone is to be used to listen to biblical teaching. Every time I’m commuting solo, a sermon should be playing so that my mind can be constantly fed on the Word of God.
4. It is Not for Entertainment
This phone is not to be used for private entertainment. The time that the Lord has given me is too precious to spend on constant frivolity and consumption of media (games, movies, videos, and the like). There are beloved saints to minister to, sinners to build relationships with, the church to serve, and my God to commune with. My time is spent well in the things of lasting joy and not on fading blips of ‘glory.’
5. It is Not for Isolation
This phone is not to challenge or impede personal relationships. If there are people around to talk to, the phone is put aside. God has given me the people around me that I might love them, not to ignore while I am absorbed in my phone.
6. It is Not for Impurity
If this phone causes me to sin by breaking my covenant with my eyes, it’s going away. No exceptions.
7. It is Not for Laziness
This phone will make my life more convenient (after all, that’s the point). However, if I begin to grow in laziness and slothfulness in self-control and my disciplines, the phone is going away. No exceptions.
8. It is Not my Master
If this phone becomes my functional master, dictating my thoughts, habits, and life-style in a way that is sinful, the phone is going away. No exceptions.
9. It is Not Necessary
If I find myself breaking these resolves, the phone is going away. No exceptions. This phone is not a necessity; I have lived just fine without it up to this point, and I can learn to live without it again if need be.
10. It is Temporary
This phone is just a jumble of semiconductors, metal, and electricity. It will be completely consumed with intense heat in the last day, and I will give an account of not how much I enjoyed my smartphone, but how I used it to God’s glory. May all things of my life, even this, be submitted to Him.