|Posted on June 6, 2017 at 2:05 PM|
Today’s technologies are astounding and the impact they have on our lives (for good or bad) is amazing. Like most of us “baby-boomer’s” I was dragged kicking and screaming into the computer age and still harbor resentments against each new version of Windows. Although I can see how much these technologies have improved the quality of life by making communication much faster and easier, I also dread the hidden effects of a prolonged journey on the “information highway”. A steady diet of social and other mass media may lead to a buildup of fear, guilt, and pride that robs our relationships of meaning and our lives of real purpose.
An old friend and colleague in the ministry once likened the TV to the anti-Christ. While most of us thought his views to be extreme at the time, the message portrayed on most monitors in the world today (including cell-phone screens) would seem to support his theory. I’m not suggesting that we trash our smart TVs, computer monitors, lap tops, net books, or I-pads and cell phones. I’m merely pointing out the obvious fact that such technologies have and will be used for evil rather than good. Electronic devices are, like other inanimate objects, not the problem. It is the use (and abuse) of such technologies by spirit beings (that includes us humanoids as well) to whom God has given a free choice. Unfortunately, many are making choices to abuse rather than use the new technology.
Addictions of all kinds is a slippery slope downhill that begins slowly at first and ends in terminal velocity at the bottom. The cardinal symptom of all addictions is denial of reality. The man arrested for multiple DUIs but states he has no problem with alcohol addiction is in obvious denial. The woman who looks like she has aged 10 years in the last six months but says she just enjoys “partying” with friends is in denial of her meth addiction. Likewise, those who are so consumed with their electronic devices they do not or cannot engage in “table talk” during meals are also likely to deny any problem. The line between use and abuse is easy to miss and requires some honest soul-searching to know when we have crossed over.
As with every other issue in the believer’s life the key to a healthy balance is the personal leadership of the indwelling Spirit of God. When led and controlled by the Spirit of God our use of such technologies can be powerful tools to express the love of Christ to others. Multimedia presentations of God’s amazing love and grace sent out to the world through the internet are, no doubt, used by the Spirit to meet the needs of many. The question is not just whether we should use such tool, but rather why are we doing so? Remember, the only difference between ministry and manipulation is motive? Are we using these new technologies motivated by fear or faith; guilt or hope; pride or love?
Walking in the light as John encourages us to do (1John 1) requires that we see both our fleshly motives as well as our true motives in all that we do or say. Agreeing with God concerning our fleshly motives guarantees he will send them away and replace them with the true. Only the personal leadership of the indwelling Spirit of God can determine the proper use of any technology to fulfill our calling to love others like Christ. Trusting the Spirit and the Father is far better than relying on Siri and Google.