Voices: The double-edged sword of smartphones in church

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En Español aqui.

A few weeks ago I was listening to a Christian show on the radio. The broadcaster was sharing a personal experience about technology and how it has taken hold of our lives.

Instead of helping us, technology can dull our intelligence and cause issues that could produce negative effects later on.

This particular story talked about how smartphones have become part of us and have made us dependent on them.

We could forget our lunch at home, or we could forget our jacket, but never our phone. If we left our phone at home, we would turn around to get it, even if that meant coming in late to work.

This also happens when we go to church, where our attention is supposed to be completely given to God in worship.

‘Our Swiss Army knives’

We are supposed to give our time so that we will learn and use those lessons to practice a life that fits the sainthood God expects of us.

But smartphones now are part of our worship of God. Our phones have substituted our Bibles since they are our “Swiss Army knives” in which we have different tools to help our daily lives.

The problem is not the phones themselves but the unlimited use we give them. The problem is worse when they rob us of our attention.

How many times have we not had the temptation of checking the notification we just got on our phones? Who does not wish to check out social media to see what is going on?

Phones are a double-edged sword because they can help us be more in touch with our surroundings, and we can use them to share the works of God in us. But they can also be instruments of temptation that the enemy can use. Smartphones can take away our attention, and they can take us far from what it would be to act with intelligence.

We substitute our own intelligence and give it away to a small device that takes our attention away from what really matters.

According to the Bible, to be intelligent is to get away from evil (Job 28:28). How are we going to get away from evil if we do not pay attention to what God is asking of us?

‘The enemy knows how to distract’

Psalm 81:13–14 says, “O that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways! Then I would quickly subdue their enemies, and turn my hand against their foes.”

The enemy knows how to distract the people of God. Anytime we do not pay attention to what it is to walk in righteousness is to disobey the instructions God has given us. That makes us step away from the care God has for our lives.

May we be intelligent, and let us submit to God’s will. May we keep our attention and care in what makes us faithful to God. May we not fall into temptation, but instead be wise in what God has commanded. That way the devil will have no other option but to run away (James 4:7).

Francisco J. Morillo-Velarde Lozano is originally from Spain, where he led various cell groups for ten years. Now he is the men’s group leader at Lake Pointe Church en Español and collaborates under Gilberto Santiago in the Dallas Baptist Association program, Seminario Teologico Bautista.

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