App Rupture

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

One of my goals for 2018 is to use less of my phone in the presence of others. It hasn't been perfect but I can see my progress has been steady.

Recently, Apple created a way for iPhone users to measure their screen time. I cringed when I looked at my stats. It was that same feeling I had when I was overweight and I needed to do something about the number I saw on the scale. I immediately gained some extra motivation to reach my goal.

Everyone has excuses why they need to have their eyes glued on their phone. Mine are very noble: "it's part of my job." The truth is that even as a professional, I can make better use of the time I spend on social media apps.

So I decided to let go of "my darlings." Personally, I love certain apps yet they are not loving me back. Simple stats are helping me see that the time I spend on "my darlings" need to be redirected somewhere else.

The reason why I wanted to decrease my phone usage in the presence of others is because I want to teach my children how to properly manage technology. It is hard to teach if I am not giving them my full and complete attention.

Once I made progress on my goal, I noticed I had extra time to do a lot of things such as:

• Use my DSLR camera;
• Listen to audio books;
• Read;
• Write;
• Chores;
• Work on my business goals;
• See, hear and interact with the people right in front of me.

I only have one chance to live the life God has given me. I don't want to be found by Him starring at a little screen.

All of the reasons I gave you to decrease phone usage can be noble. The key thing that motivated me to rupture with my apps was the Word of God.

Moses, in Psalm 90:12, writes: "So teach us to number our days so we may gain a heart of wisdom." I took this quite literally as one should.

I only have a dedicated amount of time with my kids as little kids. There's a lot of teaching happening right now. I can't effectively parent them while starring at a screen. Multitasking is costing us effectiveness in key relationships. Don't you believe that lie. Your family needs all of your attention. Give it to them.

A heart of wisdom is the gift I gain when I follow God's plan for my life. I know you didn't see this one coming. Neither did I, but I'm glad wisdom is part of God's gift to me.

James writes that our conduct should display God's wisdom (see James 3:13-18). He goes on to tell us that the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

You and I cannot get wisdom apart from God. Starring at your phone will not get you any wisdom.

Am I advocating a mass exit from social media? No. I am encouraging you to take a look at your app usage and the fruit you are displaying because of it. I am daring you to seek God for guidance in your phone usage. He will always lead you into all truth. His truth is His Word.

I believe God wants us to walk in the Spirit all of the time. I believe He wants us to display the fruit of the Spirit even in our phone usage. Self-control is listed in Galatians 5:22-23 as the fruit of the Spirit. God has given us self-control. It is up to us to ask His guidance as we display such amazing gift in our lives.

This message is not intended to cause you to feel guilty. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. This message is intended to encourage you to freedom.

God wants us to use our apps in His freedom. The process to get there is different for everyone. God might lead you to take a sabbatical so you can recalibrate. He may lead you to stop for a season (or forever if it's really toxic). I don't know how the process will be for you. Here's what I do know: there's freedom be the people God called us to be.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free my dear friend. Let's enjoy this gift today in Jesus' name.

Oh, there's also health benefits in decreasing app usage. My health has improved. My stress level has decreased tremendously. There's science behind that and there is the reality of the healthier life I am living.

Today is the day to pray for guidance, make adjustments and walk in freedom. There's wisdom in following God's word.

Prayer: God, teach us to number our days so we may gain a heart of wisdom. We repent from depending on technology more than we depend on You and Your word. Set us free from bondage, give us a heart of wisdom so we may serve You in this world. In Jesus' name, Amen.