I don’t know about you, but with all of this technology available to us in our homes and literally at our fingertips, I spend quite a bit of time thinking about the pros and cons of it all. Do you? My kids love technology. And if I let them, they would spend most of their time in front of one screen or another. Honestly, I’ve become a bit enamored myself.
My media love does not revolve around TV shows or gaming though. No, mine is centered around the true stories, encouragement and ideas I find in a writer’s blog, education material, my own online writing and social media. But often, even that can easily turn into wasted time as well, if I’m not careful and deliberate. I’m sure many of you can relate. We need to remember this…
So whether you eat or drink of whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. -1 Corinthians 10:31
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down at my computer when I have a spare moment to check Facebook or Twitter or my LONG list of favorite blogs. And then suddenly an hour has gone by and I know in my heart that I’ve wasted a precious hour and not gained or given a single bit of fruit. So it occurred to me recently that if I am going to set a good example for my boys, this was one area I needed to really be intentional in.
So, I made a long list of all the ways we already honor God through technology and another list of all the ways we don’t. Sadly, we haven’t always been good stewards of the time we spend in front of a screen. Can you relate? I wanted a change. My husband and I are firm believers that just as media can be very harmful, it can also be used for good, lots of good. We aren’t living in this time period by accident. God placed us here for His purposes and will. Technology is everywhere and we are called to be relevant right where we’re at. And it is VERY possible to bring God glory through technology!
My game plan was to begin adopting a “First-Fruits Attitude and Mindset” surrounding all of our screen time. I desperately wanted to honor God and start my day strong by seeking Him first. And even though I do have my bible sitting nearby at all times, technology can also be used to serve and honor God as well. This began with me taking a good long hard look at my list again and then praying. Not only did I do this then, but I still ask God daily to show me how He wants me to use my online time. I’m fairly certain He does not want me checking my email or Facebook at the park on my iPhone while I’m playing with my kids. I am pretty sure my writing and blogging time need to occur at times other than when we’re sitting down together doing school work and I don’t think it’s right for me to send my boys to watch another show just so I can look for some new online resources. I won’t lie…I’ve done all of these things out of desperation for a moment to refresh and refuel. But even though, the motivation may be right (and I may even be needing that resource I’m hunting for), the timing is wrong.
So, first, setting purposeful and intentional time aside for screen time is key. I recently started walking on our treadmill early in the morning. This is a great time for me to listen to a Christian podcast, praise and worship music or watch one of my favorite bible teachers give a message. Many of us have all kinds of electronics in our home and the temptation can be strong to “check in” on our various iDevices, smartphones or laptops often, throughout the day. We don’t really need to though. We need to be all in with whatever we’re doing. So, if we’re spending time doing things with our families…we really need to be doing that without the pull of media. With children, it’s not always easy to find time to be online, but if you’re more intentional about the time you do get to spend with them, then making screen time happen will be much easier (and your spirit won’t be offended by a case of WRONG timing).
Now, we need to take a look at content and what we do with it. There is a vastness to what’s available out there that completely amazes me. I am so thankful for so many options, but this is also where it can be easy to get consumed. Our enemy knows how easy it is for us to slip in to complacency and to not really care too much about what we’re spending our time filling our minds and hearts with. That trap is easy to fall into, but we don’t have to.
With a “First-Fruits Attitude and Mindset” I have gradually compiled a list of my favorite ways to honor God through the use of the technology we’re blessed with.
- On our iPad and iPod, we make sure that not only is it filled with all kinds of educational apps, but we also have many kid’s bible apps loaded as well.
- We also take advantage of all kinds of biblical content in the form of lesson plans, unit studies and bible study resources for kids.
- Many of our ebooks and audiobooks can be downloaded from our local library through the Overdrive Media Console app.
- The Kindle app, of course is an excellent resource for many christian books.
- As I mentioned, I subscribe to a long list of blogs, most of which are Godly, in nature. I love my Gmail app where I can easily access my Reader to read all of my favorite blogs. With an RSS Reader, blog post titles along with a short snippet are listed by each blog making it much more efficient to pick and choose the posts I really want to read.
- Have you heard of Beth Moore? I love her bible teaching and the way God uses her to speak Truth. Her bible study teachings can be found on the Life Today app or online at Wednesdays with Beth. Her radio program is also a huge encouragement in my faith. Be sure to search through her archives for MANY bible lessons at both places.
- OnePlace is also a great app for finding all my favorite Christian Ministry Radio Broadcasts. They can also be found online here.
- I also love Joyce Meyer Ministries and the the sermons given by Pastor Mark Driscoll at Mars Hill Church. Both of these ministries can be found online as well.
- YouVersion is my favorite app for awesome devotionals.
- For incredible resources, bible studies, broadcasts and more, Focus on the Family is always a go-to for me.
- And when I need to be filled with a sweet melody that will help me praise our Father, I love creating my own Christian music stations on Pandora.
So, how do you honor God through technology? Do you find it challenging to have a “First-Fruits Attitude and Mindset” when it comes to screen time for you and your children?