If you’re new here this week, on Mondays, we focus on the series, Faith Hub: Where God and Technology Connect. Last week, we discussed how social media requires grace too.
What does “Sanctifying Our Smartphones” actually mean?
It means being intentional about smartphone usage as Christians.
A few weeks ago I bit the bullet and traded in my 3 year old free phone for a smartphone. I know I’m late to the party on this, but there were many reasons that I didn’t want to upgrade. I did have a five year old itouch that I used in the same manner as many people use their smartphones. Until my two year old decided to baptize it in the toilet…. Whew- ok, I said all that to say:
As Christians, we are privileged to live in the age of modern technology and we need to be sure we are intentional with the privilege.
Did you know there are more than 1 billion smartphones in use worldwide?
Nielsen ranks smartphone usage for March 2012 as 50.4% of all US consumers.
As Christians, welcoming the age of smartphone usage is critical for growing our faith and spreading the gospel. My children already show signs of modern technology acceptance of which I never dreamed. My two year old is so accustomed to touchscreen technology that she tries to change the channel on the tv by touching the screen. Obviously, our house is not quite up to that cost level of technology. 🙂
The next generation will integrate technology in their daily lives beyond our current imaginations. For that reason if no other, now is the time to become intentional in our smartphone usage as their examples of modern Christian living.
Technology shines the greatest when used as a resource to build relationships.
How then do we become intentional in our smartphone usage as Christians? What does it mean to “sanctify our smartphones?”
Sanctifying our smartphones means we are setting them apart for God’s glory.
Yes, they are tools for daily practical use.
But they can be tools for daily spiritual use.
I’ve been reflecting heavily on how to be intentional with smartphones and I came up with this list of 5 ways to be intentional with smartphone usage as a Christian. Maybe you’ll get an idea or two about your own usage. Here we go:
1. Use reminders effectively.
Why not use your reminders to remember prayer requests? When Susie is scheduled for surgery at 2 pm, you could have your phone reminder prompt you to pray for her. Or set a reminder to pray at a certain time each day. Maybe you are part of a Bible study group in which everyone sets their reminders for the same time to pray for one another each day.
2. Eliminate unnecessary notifications- especially social media.
Control your social media notifications; don’t allow them to control you. Turn off any notifications by which you do not need to be interrupted. I don’t play Facebook games, so I turn off all notifications of game apps. I can’t tell you what is appropriate for you- but I do recommend being intentional in your choices about interruptions. Too many interruptions make it difficult to be focused overall.
3. Download and use a Bible app.
I typically use the laptop for my daily Bible reading. There are many online Bible websites: Bible Gateway, YouVersion, and BlueLetterBible, just to name a few. I love having easy access to many versions in two clicks if I read a verse I want to investigate further. 🙂 BlueLetterBible is my favorite of these three online Bible sites.
However, when I don’t have the laptop, I use the Olive Tree Bible Study app on my phone. If you’re looking for a Bible app, here’s a list of 5 Fabulous Bible Apps I Recommend.
4. Put your Bible app in a place of priority.
My Bible app rests on the home page of my phone. Out of sight, out of mind- this is the reason I keep it where I can see it.
5. Dedicate the overall usage to God.
When my new phone first arrived, I stared at the box for a moment before opening it. Then after opening it, you may think I’m a little over the top, but I prayed over that crazy phone.
I prayed that I would remember relationship over resource.
That I would treat the phone as a tool, not a tangent, as my friend Karen Ehman says.
That I would have the discipline to control the phone and not allow it to control me.
That I would listen to the Holy Spirit prompting me when to put the phone down…and when to pick it up.
6. Invite others to see the goodness of God.
The manner in which we use our phones will be an indication of the manner in which we live our lives.
Whether I’m tweeting a verse or extending a social media invitation to Bible study, texting my sisters or calling my husband, I always want the phone usage to be a resource and not a regret.
What ideas or recommendations do you have for “sanctifying your smartphone?” I’d love to read them in the comments!