3 Ways To Merge Your Faith With Technology
Are faith and technology at odds with one another? Some might say yes.
The relevancy and awareness of God can be severely underestimated in the fast-paced, industrialized, and media-centered world we live in today. The popularity of powerful, “man-made” products is rising exponentially, making it easy for us to close off into our “man-made” reality, away from God. Some may criticize Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook as being harmful, and we don’t typically see these technological mediums as divine creations of the Almighty. Does that mean they are not of God? Is He powerful enough to work through them, or must we unplug ourselves from society in order to connect to Him? (Pun intended)
As one might expect of a millennial, I appreciate the convenience of technology more than most (once I take the time to learn how it all works). Yes, I do believe that social media and our fast-paced, attention-deficit culture can make it harder to experience God on a daily basis, but I also believe that is the case because we don't expect to see Him through these “man-made” avenues.
Why is that? By assuming He is not able to meet us where we are this exact moment, we are limiting both His power and His incredible love for us. Everything about the God we serve suggests that He would be willing and able to make Himself present in any reality. This, of course, leaves us with the conclusion that it's entirely on us to bring Him into the reality we build around us. But God hasn't exited from our world whatsoever; we've simply invented ways to tune Him out of it.
Looking back into stories told in the Bible, of times where distractions from reality were few and far between, we see the presence of God in abundance. In other words, there was no portable computer/phone/mailbox anxiously sitting in your pocket waiting to erupt with a notification at any moment. I'm sure life was quite a bit simpler before all this technology arrived at our front door, but that doesn't change its prominence in today’s society, which is growing steadily by the day.
The truth is, we don't need to choose between a thriving relationship with God and a plugged-in relationship with our culture. It’s important to know your culture, so that, like the Apostle Paul at Mars Hill, we can be “All things to all people” and speak of Jesus’ love through relevant terms that our culture understands.
So how do we do both?
1. Be here.
The first step is to live in the present. One of the biggest drawbacks of technology is the ability to separate us from our present reality. More and more we see examples of social media accounts that are not quite the most accurate representation of the person they are created to portray. This is just one example of not living presently both online and in the world. This can be avoided by simply "merging" the two together and being completely true to yourself – and your identity in and representation of Christ – in your online presence. While this is a simple concept, it seems to be one that is most commonly ignored.
Make sure you don’t let your technology or social media presence take you out of the present, don’t hide behind it, and don’t use it to misrepresent yourself or Christ.
2. Appreciate the value of technology.
What should also be avoided is the tendency to ignore the benefits of a digital world and live in a state of unawareness. Technology is a fantastic tool and can be used to impact people across the world. Don't forget that ultimately God granted us this resource. Imagine how much more accessible the world has become in the last 100 years, all due to the utilization of novel concepts such as mobile phones, internet and of course, social media!
If your church is not taking advantage of the tools that technology and social media provide to amplify (literally and figuratively) your ministry and accessibility, it may be time to overhaul your approach.
3. Use it right.
There is absolutely a happy medium in how much technology should be a part of your life. This will differ based on one's circumstances, but certainly make a point of determining your limit. We all need time to be “unplugged.” Ask yourself how much technology is overwhelming or "too much" in your life? How much is beneficial?
Life is all about balance. There are no concrete answers as it relates to the our current technology-immersed world, but what is certain is that God will meet you where you are regardless of your circumstances. Don't miss the opportunity to experience Him in every moment you “share!”
What are other helpful tools as we seek to be good stewards of the technology at our fingertips?
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