As followers of Jesus, we need to make sure a good thing never becomes a supreme thing. Unquestionably, leveraging technology to share about Jesus and connect with people is a good thing. But if left unchecked, using technology can become obsessive and idolatrous.
We all know people who are obsessed with his many followers they have, how many have started following them, and who had unfollowed them. Most of us have found ourselves hitting refresh a few too many times in the hope of finding new Likes and comments. Some people get lost in a world of creeping on others, constantly obsessing over what they post or say, sometimes with people they don’t even know! Some can’t control the urge to look at just one more thing on Pinterest, knowing that one final click (which is never just one) might hold that special something that will finally make their life complete. Still others play just one more game, hoping that this time they’ll finally break their high score or reach a new level.
I’ll admit that I love playing video games and I strive for that high score. I strive for that high level. I strive to be the best at the game. Since being in Middle School, when we got our Atari, I would play hard every free moment I had to make sure that I had a better score than my brothers and especially my father. I had to be the best. This year for Christmas my brother got my father an Atari throwback and we spent the evening playing games. Guess who spent most of the evening going back and playing the games that they used to play to make sure that they had the high score…ME!
It’s hard to see it in the moment, but when we stand back, we realize that we might as well have bowed down before a giant smart phone in the sky. The Bible couldn’t be clearer about idolatry. In addition to the commandment so “have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3), we’re also told: “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21). The moment you realize you’re starting to put something above God, tear that idol down. As soon as you realize that you don’t have control, that you click and click again without knowing how to stop, acknowledge the problem. Don’t rationalize it. Don’t explain it away. And don’t put off dealing with it.
Just tell the truth.
You are addicted.
And it is idolatry.
Once you acknowledge your problem before God, you can ask for his forgiveness and his help. God always hears the prayer of the repentant heart. Not only will He forgive you, but He will also give you the strength to put away the things that keep you from Him.
Use social media. Enjoy it. But don’t let it overtake you. If you see an iDol in your life, smash it! Until next time,