What are some ways that your phone might be hurting your walk with Christ?
Dishonoring the Preaching
When someone comes up to me after services and says, “Pastor, while you were preaching, someone was on their cell phone, I think playing Candy Crush or something like that. That really bothers me.” It more than bothers me. It troubles me that someone would come to church to hear the Word of God taught but would rather entertain themselves. Something’s very wrong here. It isn’t only insulting to God’s Word, it is an insult to God and may reveal someone who doesn’t really have a hunger and thirst for righteousness.
Destroying Interpersonal Relationships
Electronic devices have seemed to distance us as a people. We’re on social media more than we are among friends; but this can never replace a close, personal relationship with our friends, family, church members, or other people we know. We make posts and offend some and then “unfriend” them, thinking, “That’ll solve the problem.” But Christianity is about having personal relationships, having a personal relationship with God, and having personal relationships with others. You really can’t do either over the Internet.
Ignoring the World
There was a day and age when people walked around and made eye contact with one another. They even spoke when meeting on the street. However, today we can walk right by our own best friend and not even know it. We’re so busy texting, we don’t even notice those things around us. Some family members in our church even text one another in the same house (or at church!). We know the dangers of texting while driving, but today texting while walking can be deadly. That’s flirting with disaster and also hurts our walk with Christ because we can become so disconnected with the world around us.
Devouring Our Time
Electronic devices can also take us away from things that are much more important in our lives, such as prayer and reading the Word of God. If we took an inventory of the minutes in our day, what one thing would dominate most of our free time (outside of work)? For me, it might not look good. On the other hand, there are devotional apps (like one on this website) that you can use to have daily devotionals delivered to your phone or other electronic device. There are other biblical apps that can help you grow in the grace and knowledge of God.
Distracting at Services
If someone is on their phone during services, I have to learn to take my eyes off them or I’ll miss a lot. I have to force myself to look at what’s happening in services. However, if they’re right in front of me or right next to me, it’s almost impossible to concentrate when they’re texting, playing a game, or checking email. I think that’s unfair to those around them. It not only hurts their walk with Christ but hurts everyone else’s, too.
You can probably think of more things than I can that are hurting our walk with Christ. Whatever that may be, we should prioritize our walk with Christ, give people eye contact out of respect, and not distract the worshippers who are there to grow in the grace of our Lord. Respect the Word and respect others. That’s what we’re called to do.