By Amanda Jenkins and Alexander Schubert
Faculty, College of Theology
How do we worship God with our technology? A popular blog at Inc says that the average person spends four hours a day on their phones alone. If we add in time that is spent for jobs or school on computers it is not hard to imagine that number doubling or tripling. With so much time engaging technology, a relevant question may be asked, “Is technology good or bad in the eyes of God?”
Romans 12:2 clues us in to an answer here, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal or your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” When we pick up our various devices a helpful question to ask may be, “Am I picking this up so that I can be affirmed by likes?,” or “Am I picking this up to be encouraged and draw near to God?”
When we are bored or in a public place alone do we read our Bible app and scroll through a list of prayer requests to build ourselves and others up? Or do we scroll through a screen that tells us about possessions we don’t have and vacations that we are not on prompting jealousy and covetousness in our hearts? God’s desire for us is not to be conformed into the likeness of the world, but instead to be transformed into the likeness of Christ.
We see further instructions in 12:12 which says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” When we get good news, our first reaction should be to rejoice in hope to God, not to blast out 280 characters or a status update. When we go through something hard our first response should be to pray to God not to bury ourselves in a binge of entertainment.
In the 12th chapter of the book of Romans the Apostle Paul begins with a plea to believers, here he says “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” In the day in and day out of our lives we are often aided by various instruments to worship God. We can worship God with our voice by using it to build others up or we can dishonor him by using it to tear others down.
We can use the instrument of technology to make much of God or we can use technology to our own means as a way to indulge our impulses and exalt ourselves. Overall technology is something that humanity has cultivated and it can be used for a variety of purposes. As Christians let’s be conscious of the time that we spend engaging with technology and let that time be used for good purposes—let it be used as a spiritual act of worship.
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