Read the Bible and Pray, or Check Your Phone?

Category: Excerpts

When you wake up in the morning what do you do first: read the Bible and pray, or check your smartphone? What do you seek first: The Living God…or who messaged you the night before?

Now listen carefully. In light of what Jesus says in Matthew 6 here, we should be seriously concerned about how impulsively our minds are darting from one thing to another; from moment to moment throughout the day. You see, for example, we look upon digital distractions as an acceptable thing, but fail to recognize the greatest danger is what they are doing to our spiritual lives. This is significant again. Let me tell you where I’m coming from. Distractions of any kind, if not controlled, can waste our time, dull our spiritual senses, divert our minds from the eternal realities that are so vital to our spiritual well-being and eternal future.

Let me give you a scenario. Here is a Christian believer. He has to be at work at 8 o’clock. He gets up at 6 o’clock to have time with the Lord, to do his devotional exercises. But in route to his living room where he is to take his Bible and open in prayer, he checks his smart phone. He notices that he misses a phone call from the night before. He listens to the voice message. Immediately, his mind races to what he needs to do, to what he needs to say in response to that phone call. And then he notices before he puts it down that he has so many likes on his Facebook account, and then furthermore, he sees he has a private message or two. What’s that about? So he begins to explore those messages and one of them is of a serious nature that demands immediate response. So what he does, it takes him ten minutes to formulate a message, to write it with discretion, and then to edit it. By this time, it’s 6:30. He takes his Bible. He tries to focus his attention upon the truth of God’s Word. But it’s very impossible because his mind is constantly going back and forth as to what he needs to say or what he needs to do in regards to these things that he’s read on his smart phone. It is interesting that Tony Reinke once again in that same book, “Twelve Ways Your Phone is Changing You,” said that 8,000 Christians that he surveyed, 54% admitted to checking their smart phone within minutes of waking. When asked whether they were more likely to check email and social media before or after spiritual disciplines on a typical morning, 73% said “before.” Now brothers and sisters, you sit there and you say this has got a tone of legalism to it. I’m not saying that you’re to go out and throw away your cell phones. God forbid. But I’m saying something needs to happen here. We need the reign of the Spirit in our life to learn how to regulate our cell phones so that Christ may be preeminent in our thoughts.