Techno-Trouble (Truth and Tidings, Feb. 2013)

This post provides a way for you to comment on the published article and supplements the material.

Time Trouble

Twice in the Scriptures we are told we need to be “redeeming the time” (Eph. 5:16, Col. 4:5). That implies changing something bad or undesirable for something that is profitable. Am I willing to redeem my time with something that matters for eternity? Am I walking “worthy of the Lord,” seeking to please Him in all things, and increasing in the knowledge of God (Col. 1:10)?

A few facts.

  • A presentation by CIW stated that tablet users tend to spend about 95 minutes a day on their tablets
  • The most popular activities on tablets include gaming (84%), searching for info (78%) and emailing (74%) (source)
  • 125 years of Angry Birds is played every day (source)
  • 89% of mobile users use their smartphone throughout the day (source)
Electronic devices are useful. Let’s use them to save time and be productive rather than waste a lot of time that could be better spent for the Lord.
What are some things you can do if you’re bored, waiting in line, etc. instead of starting a game on your mobile device?
  • Pray
  • Read the Scriptures (you can do that on your device too)
  • Study the Scriptures
  • Reflection on the Scriptures, alone with God
  • Listen to Christian music
  • Visit a lonely Christian or elderly saint
  • Bake a dessert for the neighbors
  • Reach out to neighbors with the gospel
  • Gospel outreach (see this link for ideas & resources)
  • Volunteer in the community (Boys and Girls clubs, hospitals, nursing homes, American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, hospice…)
  • Learn a foreign language
  • What else can you think of?

Treasure Trouble

  • Shoppers spent $300 (median) on smartphone purchases in the past year (source)
Don’t put your treasure into a bag with holes. Invest it in heaven, where moths, rust and a bad economy won’t touch it.

Testimony Trouble

Think about the following questions in regard to being a good testimony for Christ:

  • “Is this going to bring glory or shame to my heavenly Father?” (1 Cor 4:5; 10:31)
  • “Can I do this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, with His authority?” (Col 3:17)
  • Will this help or hinder? (1Cor. 14:26)
  • Is this a good example to others? (Tit. 2:7)

Did you know that watching movies through an app on Facebook may post a story to your news feed about what you’re watching without your knowledge? (Also, never view videos that ask you to share them with others before viewing.)

Thought Trouble

Remember Mr. Dryburgh’s five points to WATCH: your Words, your Actions, your Thoughts, your Company, your Heart.

Ideas for safeguarding our eyes and thoughts in this technology age:

  • K9 Web Protection is a good, free tool to filter the content you and your family come into contact with on the web. 
    • Add time restrictions, make exceptions, force safe search, and monitor user activity. 
    • Be aware! There is no perfect solution. Programs can’t look at pictures and tell you if they are bad or not. They can only filter out sites that are known to contain bad material. This includes sites like YouTube that could be used legitimately (although the writer believes no young child should be allowed to use YouTube unsupervised for long periods of time). 
  • See Parental Controls for other options when dealing with children
  • YouTube allows you to turn on safety mode at the bottom of the screen. Check the box to lock safety mode for this browser and repeat for all of your computer’s browsers. As far as I know, once it’s on, you can’t remove it.
  • Chrome and Firefox browsers have a plugin/extension called Adblock Plus which filters out many advertisements. Some sites like Facebook have found ways to get around it, but it still helps.
  • You might be able to use feeds to bypass some of the filth

Temptation Trouble

  • The things you access via technology have the power to ruin your life and testimony for God, as well as your relationships.
  • Think outside of emotions and passions and see things from God’s perspective. 
  • Force yourself to think about the future ramifications of your present actions.
  • Cultivate your relationship with the Lord, family and other believers. Meaningful, satisfying relationships go far beyond the physical. 
  • “Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (James 1:15-16 NASB). Flee …! Follow after …! (2Tim 2:22)
  • Like Christ, respond to temptation using the Word of God
  • Remember that suffering comes before glory, and hardship before rest.
  • Modesty is important
    • The world we live in has largely lost a sense of modesty due to many things, including advertising, television and the Internet. Please do not contribute to this sensual, immodest world by posting your beach (or perhaps prom) photos on social media (we won’t address the other related issues here). By doing so, you tempt others to sin, and that is serious. 
    • “…decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother” (Rom. 14:13 ESV). We recognize that our dear sisters likely have no idea how these images can impact a man. Modesty is beautiful to a spiritual man and of great price to God. Remember that!

It’s worth the trouble!

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