Fresh Hope – 31st October 2018

My husband and I went to the cinemas the other night. We have a new rule where we like to leave our phones in the car when we go to see a film. It forces us to be present. As we sat in the cinema waiting for the film to start we looked around at the other couples surrounding us – every single couple (no exaggeration here), were on their phones. Scrolling through feeds, double tapping on the lives of others, while missing out of the very moment they were in. They were with the person they loved physically, but checked out in every other way – paying attention to something else until the movie started and they could fix their gaze onto the next screen. Maybe I had never really noticed how bad we’ve become as a society, because I myself had been on my own phone the whole time too, and it wasn’t until I left mine in the car, that this world-wide addiction became so obvious to me!

Although technology has brought with it endless opportunities, it’s also initiated a host of issues. I’m not anti-internet – my husband’s business is totally internet based, and thanks to the internet I can FaceTime my family on the other side of the world anytime, anywhere. But I do believe that many of us are yet to learn how to manage it well, and instead are managed by it. It is imperative that we govern this area of our lives with careful thought.

When Jesus talks about being careful stewards of our lives, he is talking about being careful stewards of our time. He is talking about being careful stewards of technology. He is talking about being careful stewards of our relationships.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is’ Ephesians 5:15.

Use technology, use the Internet, use social media, but understand that they don’t ever replace real people, real relationships, real conversations, real life, and real connection. Humans are made for deep and authentic connection with each other. We are not made for comparison. We aren’t made for a ‘life’s highlights’ competition. We can’t survive with superficial relationships, and a false sense of connection (e.g. feeling you are connected to people because you send them a comment and like their posts). When your time is mostly spent on the Internet, it threatens your self-worth. It robs your time, and causes you to become dissatisfied with your present moment and your present self. And the depression statistics of this generation only confirm this.

The Internet can be a helpful servant, but is a terrible master. Don’t let it govern your life. Let it only be an asset that you steward with wisdom and careful thought to priorities. Return to real life and real connection!

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.