My connection to the world. My creative outlets. My entertainment, interaction, and source of information all gone…
For now at least.
I have a smartphone, like the majority of you do. I have my favorite apps on there that I use daily. To no surprise, it’s Facebook, Instagram, and the included internet feature of Safari. These are awesome tools for sharing pictures, communicating with friends, doing business, and reading up on the latest news. I love them, maybe a little too much. Or maybe it’s my love of photographing my children…and sharing online…that I love too much. It could be the feedback from friends, family, and followers that I love too much. What if it’s the feeling of worth and value I get when I see how many “likes” a picture received that I love too much? Should I continue? I think you get the picture.
These apps are cool things. They are good things. Their uses are profitable and CAN BE beneficial. But where does it go wrong? When does the GOOD get in the way of the BEST?
The good gets in the way of the best when Facebook is the first thing you reach for in the morning before you wipe the sleep out of your eyes. The good gets in the way of the best when checking your Instagram news feed is the last thing you need to see before dozing off. The good gets in the way of the best when surfing the internet for mindless poop is an automatic reaction to the silence in a room full of people, and you don’t know how to fill that awkward void.
When life is calm, there is a breathing moment, and time has slowed down for just a millisecond….and your body itches to pull up Facebook because you have nothing to do…that’s when the good gets in the way of the best.
Don’t even get me started on how these apps on my phone have taken away attention from my children, husband, and quiet time. I don’t need to tell you what a distraction they are from work, chores, and the BEST things in life. We know that already. This isn’t a post on what a horrible person you are for looking at your phone while your daughter is twirling in her dress at the park. That’s already been written.
What I’m talking about is how these apps on my phone have become my idol. Ouch. Yep…a direct offense of the First Commandment that the Lord gives:
Exodus 20: 3-6 (The Message)
“3 No other gods, only me.
4-6 No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God, punishing the children for any sins their parents pass on to them to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation of those who hate me. But I’m unswervingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.”
My phone became my idol. I served it first, I served it most, and I served it above the one true God who created me! He loves me so fiercely that he is jealous of my attention, my loyalty, my time, and my love. Why? Because his love for me is so great and grand, that he gave his son to die a brutal death on a cross just so I can be in God’s presence for all of eternity. He has a right to be jealous of my worship. The apps on my iPhone, not so much.
Removing the apps from my phone is temporary. I’m on a cleanse. I’m reprogramming my automatic tendencies to stare at my phone most of the day, and instead reaching for scripture, praying, studying my children, hugging them with both hands empty of any distraction, and replacing the good with God’s best.
The Lord will tell me when the time is right to install the apps back to my phone. He will tell me when, and HOW, to use these forms of social media for not only my benefit, but for the benefit of others and his kingdom. Please don’t think I’m saying Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or whatever form of social media you love are bad or evil. They’re not. They can be used for good. But when the good gets in the way of the best, that’s when we are really on the losing end of the deal.
I will still log onto Facebook from my computer, but I’m not on there NEARLY as long or as often compared to when I browse it on my phone.
What has become your idol? Maybe you can directly relate to these apps becoming your primary focus over the better things God has for you. What if it’s work? Volunteering? Crafting? Exercising? Money?
I don’t know. But God does, and he can reveal that to you if you pray and ask him to. God has so many blessings ready to give you, but he can’t if you are worshipping another god. That other god (idol) that you worship cannot fulfill your needs the way God can. Repent from your sin of allowing something else to become an idol over God, and ask for his power to help you change. Only through Christ can you transform your mind and live differently from what the world says is normal, what the world says is good. I want God’s best. How about you?
Romans 12: 1-2 (The Message)
“1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. DON’T BECOME SO WELL ADJUSTED TO YOUR CULTURE THAT YOU FIT INTO IT WITHOUT EVEN THINKING (emphasis added). Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”