I felt inspired to write this post after realising whilst on holiday just how addicted to my phone I am.
I realised how much more time I spent on it in comparison to spending time with actual people. I see friends, family and my husband regularly, however I multi-task constantly, always having a hand on the phone and an eye on a loved one.
Not only was this affecting how I spend time with the people around me, but the time I spend with God was suffering too.
I use my bible app for reading plans, however a text would pop up or I would become distracted and my finger would go straight to social media. I would find myself in church listening to a sermon and see my phone flash and there would come the temptation to open up the notification. I sit with my phone by my side, not necessarily looking at it, but a hand on it as though it’s as precious as the bible.
I bring a book on the train with me everyday and tell myself I am going to read it, however somehow spend the journey scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, emails and the news.
Can you relate?
Living day to day life like this is pretty normal for many of us, especially anyone under the age of 25. However, that doesn’t mean we settle, accept it and carry on. We are called to be different and not be moulded by the world, with our eyes fixed on Jesus, not on our phones!
It says in several places in the Bible we are not to have any other Gods, Exodus 34 verse 14 says “Do not worship any other God”. This doesn’t just mean Gods in terms of actual things you can bow down and worship, it means real life things like money, boyfriends, beauty and our PHONES!
However, there are also so many great things about this piece of technology! We get to keep in touch with friends and see what they are up to whenever and wherever, social media enables us to share our faith and encouraging verses, instant access to our phones allow us to read blogs just like this whilst travelling which can teach and encourage us throughout the day. Phones also allow us to let others know of our plans and are totally crucial in an emergency.
Now the big BUT. (You just sang ‘I like big butts and I cannot lie’ in your head didn’t you?) It’s not about keeping an even balance between our phones and God but actually a very un-even balance, of course in favour of God. I listed some practical tips for myself to loosen the bond between me and my phone, so I thought I’d share them with you too:
When you are with friends and family put the phone down. Cherish the people you have around you and make the most of it. We can scroll through social media anytime. Be different, engage, take interest and enjoy.
When you have time set aside to spend just with God perhaps put your phone in another room or at least not at arm’s reach. This allows you to not even be tempted. Stick to it and don’t clock watch. What’s the rush?
BACK TO BASICS
Bring an actual bible to church, to discipleship sessions or wherever you are. There is something really special about a physical bible. Try it and see if you get distracted. Doing this will mean avoiding seeing a Whatsapp message pop up as you are deep and confused reading about the sovereignty of God! Ha!
Have a look through your social media feed but then move on, don’t go back 5 minutes later seeing if something may have changed! The likelihood is, we will scroll back and all that will be new is a cheesy quote on Instagram or a selfie of a friend – not exactly breaking news.
Be conscious about the time you are spending with God and the time you are spending on your phone. Think about it and then react to it.
Use your phone for good and why not share a quote from the bible. This may just encourage the person who needs it.
I am going to start this today! I am praying my life will change and I can step into the next challenge, adventure and lesson God has for me rather than step in to staring at my phone for hours seeing the same pictures over and over again! This life has so much more to offer us!