Can Technology Hurt Our Relationship with God?
God doesn’t want part of our attention; he deserves 100 percent
As the main speaker talked at a business conference, I looked around our table of eight. Seven people had their smartphones out, pushing buttons with intention and staring at those tiny screens as if they showed the most essential of images.
Why were they doing this? They paid a lot of money to be there, yet they weren’t fully there. A few, no doubt, had checked out, either bored by the speaker’s message, or they presumed their smartphones’ news was more important. The others, I’m quite sure, thought they were multitasking. (Even though many experts say that true multitasking is a myth.) They were attempting to listen to the speaker with their ears and read email with their eyes, while their minds compartmentalized both. I suspect neither activity received the attention it deserved.
Yet, how often do we treat God this way? Does our desire to stay connected with the world impair our ability to connect with the Almighty?
The Bible says to “be still and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10). This doesn’t mean we need to just keep our bodies at rest; we need to keep our thoughts still as well. We must occasionally stop all we are doing, to still our motions and our minds, so we can be fully present in his presence. Then we can best know him; then we can best hear him.Does our desire to stay connected with the world impair our ability to connect with God? Click To Tweet
How often do we ask God for answers and then allow distractions to keep us from listening? Yes, people can distract, busyness can distract, and life can distract, yet I suspect today’s technology might be the biggest distraction of all.
I’m not against technology. I rely on technological tools every day to work. I tap social media and email to connect with friends and followers of Jesus, and I use online resources to study and write about God.
Yet I wonder if sometimes I need to disconnect. Should we occasionally fast from our technologies so we can fully focus on God?
How long could you go without technology? A few minutes? An hour? A day? What might you learn about yourself and God if you did?
Turn off the smartphone and tune into God.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.