You Need Holiness More

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Consider for a moment the things you need in life. What makes it onto your list? No doubt things like food and clothing are a high priority. But what about your phone, computer, or game system? In today’s world, these things are often seen as crucial if not mandatory items to own. Recently, my laptop crashed and quickly became the most expensive door-stop I own. More than once I found myself saying, “I just need a new computer,” or “I need my computer to start working.” You can probably recall times when you left the house without a phone. How did you respond?

Of course, there is nothing wrong with electronics. However, I do think our society as a whole has become so enamored with technology that we are unable to see the unintended consequences of them in our lives. We say that they are merely tools but when was the last time you bought a table saw so you wouldn’t be too addicted to your hammer only to buy a wrench three weeks later because it claimed to do the job of both? It seems like a somewhat counterintuitive example and yet there are dozens of phone apps with the sole purpose of keeping us off our phones. Perhaps a dresser drawer would do a comparable job. My point is not that technology is evil or inherently sinful. Instead, I simply want us to consider what is most important to us. What controls your life? Jesus said in Matthew,

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:37)

Jesus is clear. Nothing is of greater importance than our relationship with him. If Jesus’ ministry had taken place in our present context, perhaps he would have said, “Whoever loves Apple or Android more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves Snapchat or Instagram more than me is not worthy of me.” When we consider our relationship with Jesus, we should be more than willing to give up whatever is needed to pursue holiness. For many, this could mean giving up certain devices or abstaining from a specific social media platform. You say, “Then I would be out of touch.” But, the stakes are too high to believe lame excuses. You think you need Instagram, but you need holiness more. You think you need an iPhone, but you need holiness more. Tony Reinke writes, “The honest truth is that you don’t need any electronics, but you do need to be holy. The inconvenience will be worth the gain in holiness.”[1]

Please understand technology is not sinful. They are good gifts from a loving Father. In fact, I am writing this post on a new computer — a huge blessing that God provided. And yet, we would be wise to trust our hearts less and consider the fact that perhaps our electronics have captured more of our affections than we ever intended. You may think you need your iPhone, but I promise, you need holiness more.

 


[1] 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You, pp. 69.