Not so Smart | Successfully engaging your digital device. (Part 2)
It ought to be every Christians desire to honor God with everything that we own. Whether it is our home, car, money, personal possessions, family, time, and even our digital devices, we ought to aim at bringing glory to God through these areas of our lives.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians 10:31
The specific area of digital devices are no exception to this biblical exhortation. God desires that we use our smartphones for His glory and His honor. To not have this desire on our hearts, is to only invite dumb mistakes into our lives. We must be willing to allow God to have full access and full authority over our digital engagements.
To quote my last post (Part 1), "If we ever arrive at the place where we take offense at someone questioning our overuse, or warning us of potential pitfalls with the use of our smart devices... this is Not so Smart. Anything, (including our devices) can become a snare unto us if we are not careful. We should never place our devices at a level in which they become untouchable or unquestionable. This is idolatry at best. Every area of our lives ought to be open to scrutiny."
And so today I want to give a few more ways we can be wise and Smart about our digital devices. Again, here are some potential bad habits to avoid, along with some healthy practices that can implement in your own or your families smartphone bubble.
3 MORE DO NOTS:
1. Do not let your device interrupt your everyday people relations. Perhaps you can remember that moment when you were trying to talk to someone, in apparent agreement they were shaking their head but their eyes where engaged in something or someone else across the room. Rude, you say! Of course it is. What is even just as rude is when we allow our devices to constantly interrupt those same type of people engagements. You will hear the buzz, vibration, ringtone or text jingle from your phone (while the person standing in front of you realizes you are about to disappear mentally) and inevitably look down at your phone, start swiping, tapping and COMPLETELY forget about the person standing right in front of you! I can hear famous voice of Jessica Tanner now, "How ruuuude!" And indeed it is. I have made it a habit to put my phone on vibrate, and when something comes through and I am talking to someone, I do not even acknowledge my phone. Don't get me wrong, there may be times where I know it is an emergency, and I may have to excuse myself respectfully, but for the most part, the current ministry moment that God has allowed me to engage in is more important than the push notification from Fox News!
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them..." -Matthew 7:12
2. Do not bring your smartphone into the restroom with you. Why? Whats the harm? Let me illustrate... I have an 8 year son (at the time of this writing) who is always learning from dad. When he grows up, the problem of pornography, online immorality, and unfortunate stories of family ruins due to improper use of technology will be far greater than what you and I are experiencing today. I do not mean to sound fatalistic, but I do not want my son, or my daughter for that matter, to grow up wondering what dad is looking at in the bathroom (or any room). I want them to know that dad was intentional about safe guarding his home and family, let alone his own heart. The biggest enabler for these unfortunate problems today is not the devices themselves, nor the rooms where we engage our devices, but in the heart of the parent. Protect not only your heart, but set up an atmosphere where your children (or your spouse) can grow up never having to question or wonder what dad was doing in the restroom (or any room) with his smartphone. Would it not be wonderful if your child could say, no my dad (or mom) always had his smartphone on the mantel in the living room when he was in the restroom? At our home, we make the practice of leaving our smartphones in the open when we are by ourselves. We have just made it a habit, therefore eliminating any future questions our doubts in the minds of our children. Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying that it is sinful to use your smart device in the privacy of your own home. What I am saying is that we should always first be mindful of where we engage our digital habits, and how those coming up behind us (our children) remember how and where we used smart technologies. I think the verse below explains it best:
"Abstain from all appearance of evil." -1 Thessalonians 5:22
3. Do not buy your child a smartphone (or any smart device) without protection. What do I mean by this? Allow me to explain. If your child has a smartphone, they automatically have full access to the dangers of the internet. FACT, not fiction. Unless you as a parent set up restrictions on your child's, teen's, or even your own smartphone, their device is wide open to full access of digital dangers! Dangers such as mobile Pornography, Adult rated videos, Adult rated audio content, open-ended mobile apps, and much more. (Not to mention dangers such as sexting, cyber bullying, internet immorality, and more.) These are dangers they can avoid by you setting up their smartphone for digital success! I have taken the time to show you how you can do that through this link. If you do this at the very beginning (before you give them a smartphone) you will be well on your way to protecting you and your teens smartphone usage & digital habits. I think that God's word is very clear when it comes to setting ourselves up for spiritual success and growth.
"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof." -Romans 13:14
Be wise... Successfully engage your digital smart device.
FTWOTM | R. E. Martinez