Women’s Corner: Made to Relate, Not to Isolate

Apr 26, 2019

Worldwide, a living-room couch points to a TV screen. Today, we take pride in a screen that shadows us wherever we go. Our phone. We basically carry the living room throughout the day. Hence, we find it hard to unplug from this pixelated screen, since smart minds turned the phone into a beautiful melting pot of TV and computer.

But, if only we had a healthy balance toward that blueish screen.

I love my phone. What’s not to like? It’s got more answers than I have questions. We talk to it; it talks back. It’s equipped to connect people worldwide. It can take us to our destination. We pay bills. We order food. We express ourselves. Even an introvert is only a finger-tap away from voicing themselves in front of an audience in a football stadium. (No stage fright to work through.)

Yet, this accommodating technology can subtly take over our lives through uncontrolled screen time for adults and children. Unfortunately, there are too many Christ-followers mesmerized and trapped by it.

What’s too much?

  • When you’re with the family and everyone is spending quality time with their phone, instead of encouraging one another (or even sharing the Gospel).
  • When the only way to have fun or be entertained is by squinting your eyes into a screen; no more walks and talks; no more board games; no more outdoor activities; no more good books to read; no more making Valentine chocolate with your nieces; no more good belly laughs.
  • When we read our Bible on our phone, and we get distracted by the ‘bing’ of a text message, and we tend to that disruption immediately.
  • When our life falls apart because we forgot our phone at home.
  • When we fight to stay grateful and struggle not to compare because of someone else’s ‘picture-perfect’ life as posted online.
  • When our fingers get antsy and constantly check how many likes and hearts we got.
  • When we stay long enough to write a nasty comment.
  • When our children can’t eat without being entertained.
  • When our children struggle staying still in church without playing a game.
  • When our children respond in anger because the modern babysitter has been taken away from them.

Excessive screen time steals creativity, disconnects us from reality, holds us captive to lazy habits, enables isolation, enhances solitude, eliminates conversations, controls the mind and body, authorizes sin, applauds narcissism, and creates addiction.

Yes, that same device used with wisdom and discipline can be a great resource in countless ways to enhance productivity and godliness. John Piper suggests that we should see the technology as, “A friendly pack mule on the way to heaven. Mules are not kept for their good looks. They just get the job done.”

Yes, let’s listen to sermons as we drive. Let’s sing along while we work. Let’s listen to Scripture being read when possible. Let’s call family and friends to encourage and build them up. Let’s accomplish tasks to save time for the more important things in life. But, let’s not become slaves of our ‘pack mule’ on our way to heaven.

The Apostle Paul says it beautifully in 1 Corinthians 10:23 (Amplified), although its context talks about a contemporary issue to them: “All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to our spiritual life].”

 May we give ourselves the freedom to blacken the screen with intentionality because we were made to relate, not to isolate.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,  making the best use of the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16, ESV).

Naty Tully for the IBC Women’s Team