Those Little Cell Phones Could be Telling Us Something
So many passed me that I barely noticed them against the brick buildings, fences, and advertisements. On busy sidewalks of a city once known for its hospitality, they walked across the street and out of buildings, hands to ears, lips moving, eyes straight ahead. “Cell phone talkers” in their own worlds.
They look like me, but with cute phone covers.
When did this happen?
When did we start ignoring people because we’re on the phone?
How has it changed us?
What is it costing us? Our cell phones could be telling us something.
Before I had one, I searched my purse for change, then for a payphone to make a call. Before, I prayed for God to send a Good Samaritan when I had car trouble, then rejoiced in my rescue. Now over 85% of Americans use cell phones, and we find ourselves unable to manage the little monsters. Does the Bible say anything about something just available since the 1970’s?
I’m sure I was the last person in my county to get a cell phone. Now, I sometimes need someone to say, “Step away from the phone. Put it down. Nobody will get hurt.”
We depend on them, wanting them with us at all times, feeling like we have to be accessible, just because we can. We want instant access, and everyone wants instant responses in return. It’s human nature to trust things we can see. “Some trust in chariots … But we will remember the name of the LORD our God,” Psalm 20:7.
One way to insure we are trusting in God alone and not in information and access of a phone is to begin each day with prayer. God wants to give us daily wisdom in how to prioritize our time, how to give our attention, and how to use our speech.
Recently I left home without my phone.
Panic set in.
Should I go get it? What would I miss? What if I want to call someone? Then I realized I used to do fine, just me and the Holy Spirit. He steered my path, sending help, giving wisdom from God. When I depend on my phone as “lifeline,” there’s an obstacle in the way of the Lord being my Master. Phones aren’t evil, but things made by men can become idols.
Setting boundaries about when and how long we talk helps keep priorities in order. Are we talking on the phone as we pick up kids at school, unavailable to receive ripe conversation? Am I on the phone at the cashier, distracted from divinely planned interaction? Am I available to connect and develop relationships, or am I with unseen people on my phone? If I pass a believing sister while shopping, am I free to reach out, or am I preoccupied? Do I fight the urge to check my phone when having lunch with a friend? Simple boundaries help insure that the Lord is Master. Matthew 6:24
As I watched the people, I saw myself and realized my cell phone was telling me something,“Put the phone down, put your trust fully in God, and allow only Him to Master you.” Remember these tips:
Be Discerning … “he who restrains his lips is wise,” Proverbs 10:19. If you spend a lot of time on the phone, ask yourself, “What am I talking about?”
Be Observant … “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love…” Romans 12:10. Be attentive to those you’re with, and when on the phone, be attentive in that conversation. Some distractions are unavoidable, but ask God to help you be observant of those He brings across your path.
Be Available … “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life,” Proverbs 15:4a. We miss divine appointments when we are preoccupied on the phone. Families, friends, and neighbors need us to be available. Take obstacles captive, so you can listen, talk, or pray.
Be Still … “Be still and know that I am God,” Psalm 46:10. Controlling temptation takes discipline. Let Him be Lord of everything, even your phone. No temptation is beyond His help. 1 Cor. 10:13.
Be There … “Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken in right circumstances,” Prov. 25:11 (NASB). When the circumstances are “right,” be discerning, observant, available, and still, so you can leave apples of gold wherever you go.
Questions to Ponder:
~ Has my technology started to master my time and attention?
~ Do I have boundaries to help keep my mobile technology in its place, or do I depend on it?
~ Am I willing to ask a friend if I am balanced in this area?
I don’t want anything to master my time and attention but You. Help me to yield even my phone to your direction each day as I do life and cross paths with the people you bring. I want to be available to focus on what matters most to You, so keep my mind fixed where You want it. I pray that You alone will be my trust and that I won’t substitute anything else for dependence on you.
Julie Sanders is a partner in ministry to her husband, Jeff, and mom to two teens who keep her life full and joyful. She is passionate about making God’s Word real to women and applying His truth to life. Julie loves to see God at work in daily things and shares about discovering Him in the most unexpected ways at her blog: “Come Have a Peace.” (www.comehaveapeace.blogspot.com)
*Scripture references are taken from the NKJV unless otherwise noted.
Statistic source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellular_phone#History