By Ryan Samaniego
A few months ago, I received a call from a man with a roof leak who lived out in the country near Augusta. When I arrived at the appointment, he was eager to hop on the roof with me to get to the bottom of this leak he was having. When we got down I told him his options for repair and proceeded to ask him for an email address for an estimate. He told me I had to send any emails to his wife’s email address at work, because they didn’t have a computer at home… or smart phones… or even a television. When I asked why not he said something like, “Because who does the Bible say is the prince of the power of the air? All of that stuff just gives Satan an entry point in our house and we’re perfectly happy without it.” The verses he was referring to of course were;
Ephesians 2:1-3 (KJV)
2 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
A little extreme? Maybe. Wrong? I don’t think so. We all know that technology can make us more efficient and more productive. Smart phones in particular are making it too easy to manage calendars, bank accounts, emails, and online community whenever and wherever. But something disturbing is happening and I’m sure you’ve noticed. In any given scenario, be it dinner, meetings, morning and night we are answering time sensitive emails, checking prices for another gadget, carrying on at least two text message conversations and scrolling through the posts of our choice and that’s just when we’re driving. (I wish that was a joke) It is dominating our world, it is not going away, and has brought a new and attractive mode of transportation for Satan to steal our time and tempt us like never before. If you don’t believe me, try being quiet for 10 minutes. Seriously, try it. Turn off everything, and just sit quietly. If you are like me, this is no easy task.
Not only does technology create tremendous internal white noise, it is stifling our ability to focus on others.
We are devaluing others and cheapening our relationships.
Many times what people need in times of sorrow, depression, sickness, or other hardships is for us to look them in the eye, hold their hand, hear their voice, and just be.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (KJV)
3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;
4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
With that being said, I challenge us to take steps to ensure we and our families keep a healthier relationship with our technology.
- Unplug. Consider a weekly, 24-hour Sabbath, without your phone or email. Sit down with your spouse or friends and talk with them about how they feel technology is affecting their relationships. You might be surprised with how much time you find while “going dark.”
- Engage. Practice being fully present in your interactions with others. Really listen to what they have to say. Pay attention to your body language and stop sending signals that you’re in a hurry.
- Treat others how you want to be treated. Let’s stop glancing at our phones when we are having fellowship. Let’s be more discerning when it comes to returning texts and answering our phones when we are in the presence of others.
Many believe that if Jesus were walking the planet today he might leverage technology to build His kingdom.