Would Jesus Use a Smartphone?


John and Jan“Bing.” It’s the middle of the night, but my Smartphone dings and the little blue-white screen lights up the bedroom… again. Do I check my messages or roll over and try to get back to sleep?

I’m at a restaurant enjoying a quiet dinner with my sweet wife. We’re in the middle of a wonderful conversation and the phone in my pocket begins to vibrate. It might be important, but what is more important than sharing time with my love?

The preacher makes a great point I hadn’t thought about. The Apostle Paul was in Troas and the preacher says Troas was once in the running against Constantinople to be the capital of the Roman Empire. Instinctively I reach for my Smartphone and Google …

Smartphones were invented to make our lives more efficient, but now it seems like they are sucking up more and more of our attention and time. I read an interesting study by a social scientist this week that warns – hold on a second, my iPhone just delivered a text message and my wife called at the same time. (I’m not making this up!) Any way, he warns of three specific dangers: Smartphones hurt relationships, keep us from focusing and being productive at work, and keep us from being fully present in life.[1]

All of this relates to their being a constant distraction. We become Information Junkies. The next time you are in a restaurant or coffee shop, notice how many people are texting or checking their phones instead of paying attention to the people they are with.

Now think about Jesus. Although he was the Son of God and had access to all of the knowledge in the universe, I believe when he was with people, he was wholly with them. He was moved by the widow’s tears, touched by the pain of the sick, focused on the lost.

So how can we find balance between our need for information and our need to truly be present in our surroundings and with the people we love? Recently I’ve started taking a regular “Techno-Sabbath.” That means turning off all my devices – computer, laptop, TV, Smartphone, iPad, DVD player – anything with buttons or batteries – for the day. Somehow the world continues to spin on without my input and I’m feeling much better. My stress levels go down. I’m more focused and my relationships are more meaningful without the constant interruptions and temptations to look something up. Try it! Instead of being mastered by technology, master life. Turn it off!

[1] http://www.artofmanliness.com/2016/02/22/break-smartphone-habit/

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