Putting Down Your Smartphone to Glorify God

Jan 14, 2019

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I loathe my smartphone. I also love it, but my animosity grows daily. It’s a handy little device with many functions that simplify life. But really, I’m convinced my reliance on it is making me dumb.

As long as it’s charged, I’ll never get lost—a comforting thought in a sometimes-scary world. But, I used to be great with directions. On a second trip to Oxford, England, I wanted to revisit a tasty, little burrito shop, but my taxi driver had no idea where Mission Burritos was. So, I told him step by step how to get there. I still remembered from my visit years prior. Now, I’m too busy looking at a little screen telling me where to go rather than using my brain to figure it out for myself.

Why is that? Why would I keep using my smartphone when I know it’s stunting my ability to recall information, reason situations out, and be fully present in the here and now?

Unfortunately, because it’s easier. And it’s the norm.

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

I think living in the first world has become about making life easier. We don’t have to spend time thinking about little details. Not just smartphones simplify life, but also meal kit services, online ordering, next day delivery, direct deposit—the list goes on and on. And I’m a big fan of these things! The idea is to save our valuable time so we can spend it in places more worthy of it—that’s a great goal!

But what if there are negative side effects to these time-savers? What if we’re getting so used to cutting corners with the little things that we don’t even notice we’ve begun cutting corners with the big things?

The consequence is more than just laziness. Values start to slip. When we don’t work hard to achieve something, we have less appreciation for it.

The same is true for our walks with God. When we don’t put out the effort to grow by spending time with God studying His Word, pursuing His character traits for ourselves, and putting His Word into action by loving those around us, then we’re getting spiritually lazy. We so easily become satisfied with the bare minimum—not doing the things that break God’s heart—that we don’t even pursue doing the things that make Him happy.

Not only that, but it gets worse. When we aren’t working hard becoming women after God’s own heart, our biblical values will slip. We’ll start cutting spiritual corners, making it easier to justify actions that shouldn’t be justified. Telling a “little” lie to get someone off our backs. Conveniently “forgetting” our commitments. When left unchecked, the more we excuse ourselves from the little things, the bigger those little things become.

When we cut those spiritual corners, we cut down our honor, integrity, and reputation, not to mention our relationships with God. Luke 16:10 tells us, “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Cutting corners doesn’t sound like a great recipe for pursuing God’s heart.

One way I haven’t followed God’s Word in recent months is by not being discipled or discipling someone myself. I have always advocated for discipleship, yet here I find myself not following my own advice. There’s a word for that: hypocrisy. Ouch! My excuse? Motherhood. Funny, I don’t remember the Bible listing that as an exception . . . because it doesn’t! Now that I’m a mom, it’s even more important for me to set a biblical example for my son so he can see me putting forth the effort to bring glory to God.

Nearly every season of life is going to feel busy. I love this quote by Elisabeth Elliot: “There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.” So, I am reexamining my priorities and pursuing both someone to disciple me and someone I can disciple. This week. No excuses.

A life of ease isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Let’s help each other to glorify God with our lives and not settle for mediocrity. Then, when we get to heaven, we will hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant” from our beloved Abba Father.

How can you put down your proverbial smartphone and take a step to be proactive for God this week? Share in the comments below!

Jessie Chamberlain
Family Radio Staff

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