The Bible never talks about smartphones, but that doesn’t mean it has nothing to say about how we engage with technology. In this post, I will present several Bible verses that have helped me get a better grasp on how to better engage with technology.
“I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (1 Cor 2:2) Paul says his sole focus is to know Jesus Christ. If we are to follow him in this pursuit, we’ll have to be very careful, and likely very disciplined with what we fill our minds. How much of our motives are God-less? How much time are we wasting with things that are completely inconsequential?
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19) The Bible tells us that this is not our home and that we were created for Heaven. If we’re not careful, we’ll begin to believe that our treasure is here. We’ll believe that the next device or gadget will be the treasure that will bring us the joy we need. In reality, these devices can often draw us away from what we truly need, our relationship with Christ.
“Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” (Psalms 119:37) There are many blessings to the Internet and much of the latest media, but how often are we drawn to meaningless things? How often are we filling our minds with – not necessarily wicked things – but completely meaningless things? David’s prayer in the Psalms is one we should consider often.
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:29) Though obviously not directly related to technology, it certainly applies. If our iPhone or computer is drawing us away from more important things in life, then we must be willing to get rid of it. It may be difficult but it’s worth it. Robert M’Cheyne says it this way: “Brothers, if you are ever so much taken up with any enjoyment that it takes away your love for prayer, or for your Bible, then you are abusing this world. Oh, sit loose to this world’s joys, the time is short.”
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) We believe that there is an adversary, and we believe that he will devour us if he can. We need to be aware of our weaknesses. We need to understand where we may fall. And we must not forget that we are in a battle. Sometimes we may have no idea why we get sucked into our phones and no idea why it is consuming and possibly destroying us. But we must realize we have an adversary and we must, through with the power of the Holy Spirit, do the hard work of understanding his schemes and how to fight against them.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1b) Pastor Matt Chandler of the Village Church uses this verse to remind us that we need not only throw off the sin that entangles but also the things that hinder. There are some things that aren’t necessarily sinful, but can still be a hindrance.
“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thess 5:17) Paul exhorts us to pray without ceasing. How are we to do this if we are more often looking at our iPhone without ceasing? As a test, if you are stuck in line at a restaurant (or anywhere) and have three minutes of free time, what do you do with it? Do you check Facebook, or do you use this time for reflection or prayer? May we be people characterized by our love and pursuit of God.
Do any of these verses hit you? Are there any other verses that impact you regarding this topic?