Written by Dennis Best
In dealing with the abuses of technology, it is good to have an historical perspective. The abuses of technology began with the Industrial Revolution, which instilled a lust for speed into modern man, and a desire and expectation for immediate gratification. This changed the psychology of man so that people are no longer able to fill idle time with thinking, contemplating, meditating or praying. Technology, which should serve society, came to dominate men’s lives.
There are several severe consequences of this abuse:
1. We seek out distractions to avoid having to think, which weakens our ability to focus and concentrate. Idle time is spent on mind-numbing activities like TV, radio, video games and other sources of entertainment.
2. There is no longer time for the thinker and God cannot communicate with us while our minds are distracted. God had appointed regular Sabbaths where work was forbidden and mankind was required to contemplate Him, His works and His Word. However, our culture’s need for speed has displaced God’s holy and redemptive lifestyle with an unhealthy frenzy for instant gratification and a loathing for true leisure. Even the holidays, like Christmas and Easter, are usually filled with the urgency of entertaining, travelling and shopping. Little time is left for God—even on Sundays.
3. We give ourselves no time to adapt to change. Change has always been something challenging since we are very much creatures of habit. Transition between life changes, especially traumatic ones, requires time for us to heal emotionally and mentally. However, our concern with keeping busy or keeping entertained prevents the healing processes that are necessary.
4. Because we acquire things with such haste, we lose the sense of value in things. When this happens, we come to expect the mediocre and lose appreciation for the sublime. Craftsmanship takes time. We have come to expect poor quality, and have learned to treat our possessions as disposable. We accumulate less and less that is worth passing down to our children, which contributes to a weakening of the family unit.
Six Action Steps
1. Set aside time on a regular basis to reflect, contemplate and meditate on the Word of God.
2. When you pray, do not do all of the talking. Spend some of that time just listening for God’s voice.
3. Slow down and enjoy the journey. Be aware. Recognize and separate what is healthy mental engagement from simply wasting time with entertaining distraction. Refrain from seeking out distractions every time you have a free moment. It is healthy and acceptable just to reflect for a while. Observe your surroundings. Look for peace. Look for beauty. Appreciate quality. Seek out the things of God.
4. Strive for a sense of stability to replace your sense of urgency.
5. Discern your God-given purpose in life and spend your free time nurturing this instead of seeking distractions.
Communicate the concepts just mentioned:
1. Share these notions with friends and associates.
2. Target the youth that you have access to and share these notions with them. The media and our schools will be indoctrinating them with an opposite message, so do not pass up any opportunity to temper those unhealthy ideologies with these biblically sound teachings.
3. Point them out while you are at church, community gatherings and any other opportunities when you regularly communicate with others.