COLOSSIANS 3:1-4: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: What does my weekly screen time reveal about me? It is ironic, but every Sunday morning my iPhone sends me a report of my weekly screen time. This tells me how many minutes I have been glued to the screen of my phone each week. I get that report each morning before I go to worship.
Ironic – isn’t it?!
I love technology. I remember my first Apple IIC that I purchased in the 1980s, complete with a single 128K floppy drive and a dot-matrix printer. From that moment on – I was hooked. I could prepare sermons and save them, keep my finances on spreadsheets, and pay my bills online as I connected with a dial-up 1200 baud modem. I even enjoyed the sound it made as it connected to the internet.
Yet, as soon as I fell in love with technology I realized it had a dark side. It wasn’t the computer that was evil. It was the temptation to go to places unknown and to consume my time in front of a screen. This is the same temptation we all face today – but it is greatly magnified. There was not much you could do with a dial-up connection.
Yet, today, with high-speed internet, and the world at our fingertips, it is easy to allow our priorities to run askew.
As I think about this today, I am not even thinking of the trap of the dark side of the internet. This is a problem for many but there is a more innocuous problem we all face. It is the mindless time spent flipping the screen on our phones that I find myself battling. And, when I get that weekly report I am humbled as I consider –
“Did I spend as much time in God’s Word, in prayer, and worship, as I did on my phone?
While some great social media posts turn us heavenward, the reality is that most of them are mere dribble. I like to keep connected with my friends and family on social media. Yet, I can find myself pulled into endless flipping and watching endless posts and videos that do not turn my eyes toward heaven. They do not even challenge my thinking. They are mere dribble for dribble’s sake.
Paul reminds us that we are no longer citizens of this world. We have died to both sin and the present evil age. Our life is now heavenward and is hidden in Christ Jesus. The result of this is that we are to live a life that is looking up toward our final destination. Our time, our thoughts, and our actions are to be directed heavenward. Our pursuits are to be Kingdom-oriented. And, think of this. Paul gave this exhortation over 2000 years before our present struggle with technology.
If it was true then – how much more is this exhortation needed today?
The rest of the chapter outlines the effects of focusing on darkness rather than light. It challenges each one of us to be filled with God’s light and righteousness. To use a computer term – “Garbage in, garbage out.” It is what we allow to occupy our time and thoughts that determine our actions. If we spend our time on the output of this world we will be continually struggling with the things Paul exhorts us to put off. If we give our time to God’s Word, worship, prayer, and Christian service, we will be filled with the fruits of righteousness and peace.
“Good things in, good things out!”
It is not rocket science. It is true in every area of our life. It is the reminder I needed this morning.
- “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” Colossians 3:12-15 NKJV
Lord, thank you for reminding me to prioritize what I allow to enter into my life. Help me to look up this morning and spend more time on heavenly things that produce an eternal reward.
And, when I get my screen report, may it be for the time I have spent in Your Word and less on the dribble that can never produce Your righteousness in my life.
In Jesus’ Name!