Take 5 (March 24-28, 2014)

take5Chad Cowan • Pastor of Care Ministry

What’s in your pocket?

Wallet? Keys? And most likely a smart phone! Technology has become a part of our everyday lives, but what is it doing to us? This week, we’re going to take a closer look at technology and how it may be affecting us without our knowing.

Monday: Technology is not neutral!

It happened in 1953, something invaded our homes and the American household would never be the same again. So what was it? TV? Nope. Radio? It had already been around. The technology that I’m referring to is actually…your air conditioner! Yes, who would’ve thought that such a seemingly innocent device which keeps us from being in a perpetual lather could change things so dramatically? According to Atlantic magazine, “Porches, where they exist, are relics of another age, and few new homes include them. Families gather inside, in the comfort of 72-degree living rooms, to watch TV. Would television have even gained its central place in American family life, were the rooms from which we watch it not so enjoyably cool?” While its intent was merely to keep us cool, AC has changed things, so what other technologies have had unintended consequences?

For Today: Start questioning some of the technology in your life: How is it affecting you?

Tuesday: Can it do what I need it to?

3 John 12,13

I’m sure you’ve been there. Something tragic has happened to someone you know, and you’re trying to figure out what to do next. Would an email due? Should I send them a text? Would a phone call be too forward? Technology has enabled us to contact others in a variety of ways, but what’s appropriate? This is exactly the struggle that John was having when he was communicating with his friend, Gaius; and, at that time the only option was pen and ink versus face-to-face. One big question to ask yourself is what do you desire to do? Start there, and then pray about what God would have you to do next.  

For Today: Consider setting up an appointment with someone and communicating with them face-to-face. 

Wednesday: Will it tempt my flesh?

Galatians 5:17

When I was nine years old, myself and two of my friends found a magazine while playing in the woods near our home called Playboy. This was my first exposure to pornography, and there were images that were burned in my mind that day that have stuck with me since. This was about 30 years ago; and, now no nine year old need to find something laying in the woods, rather it’s piped right into a home computer or smart phone. We’re told in Galatians that there is a constant struggle between our flesh and the Spirit. So how might technology be tempting you? Does your pride demand you have the latest and greatest? Are you struggling with pornography?

For Today: Ask God to show your area of weakness and determine a plan to prevent further sin.

Thursday: What about your family?

Ephesians 5:18

Recently, my wife and I were sensing that we weren’t as connected as we should be. We just didn’t understand why we didn’t know more about what was going on in each other’s lives. After a bit of introspection, we learned the culprit… IT WAS THE TV! Instead of having our normal time together at the dinner table, we were crashing in front of the TV to watch the news, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy. While these things are not wrong in and of themselves, they can’t be allowed to run our lives! In Ephesians 5, Paul makes it clear that we are to be controlled by the Holy Spirit alone. If there’s one thing that the Bible is clear on, intimacy with one’s spouse is a priority. How is technology encroaching on your relationships?

For Today: Next time you sit with your family, turn off the cell phone and TV. See if your connections with them grow.

Friday: What about your church?

Hebrews 10:25

When it comes to the Christian life, no man (or woman) is an island. Sunday worship, Community Groups, and the act of communion itself is not something that is meant to be done alone. One of the big problems that comes with technology is isolation. No one realized this more than a group of trapped Chilean miners. In 2010, these men decided as a group not to allow personal music players or video games because they determined that “those tend to isolate people from one another.” Are you allowing technology to prevent you from being in godly relationships with people?

For Today: Examine yourself: if you were to die today, who would carry your casket?