This morning, I listened to a podcast hosted by one of the professors at my seminary, Dr. Owen Strachan. I’d encourage you to listen to it here:
The guest on the podcast was Pastor Brad Merchant, and he and Dr. Strachan spent time discussing the basic question of: Do you manage your technology, or does it manage you? Are you master over your smartphone, or, if you’re honest, has it mastered you?
These are pretty convicting questions, if most of us are honest with ourselves. Many of us feel like we are constantly being drawn to technology of various sources, especially when it comes to social media and email. Spending too much time gazing at a screen is linked to multiple negative effects, including:
- Drastically decreased attention span
- Lack of cognitive ability
However, there is hope for the technology-mastered Christian.
Rather than cutting out technology (though this may be necessary for some), it’s better to grow in self-control and discipline over technology by the Spirit’s empowerment (Gal 2:23). After all, technology can be used for very good purposes.
In the podcast, Brad Merchant poses three questions we should ask ourselves regarding our use of technology. I find these to be incredibly helpful and practical questions, and I’d encourage you to think about them deeply.
What is my purpose in using technology?
What is my plan for using technology for this purpose?
How will I use technology to bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ?
Perhaps it would be helpful to sit down with a piece of paper and spend some time thinking about these questions today. The effects of mastering rather than being mastered by technology in your life could be radically beneficial to you: more concentration in reading the Bible, more mental clarity in praying, more ability to think deeply about the things of God.
Our cellphones will pass away, friend. The internet won’t last forever. Let’s put our focus on the things that really matter, and recognize technology for what it is: a mere tool to be used for God’s glory.