Julie and I hadn’t seen each other in several months. She was back in town and we were headed to dinner. We got our food and sat down at a booth and I asked her what she had been up to the past few months. She was excited to fill me in on all of the latest updates about family, friends, guys, school and church. I listened intently as she told me about her life. She finished all of her updates and asked me to fill her in on my latest.
She was looking at her phone while I was talking to her.
I started talking about my friendships and relationships when I noticed she had pulled her cell phone out. She began checking her text messages and doing other things on her phone while I was talking. It didn’t bother me at first, but as the conversation continued I started to feel like she wasn’t interested in what I was saying. It seemed like she was more concerned about what her other friends were saying than what I was sharing with her. I left the restaurant feeling like her phone was more important than me. I felt like I was second to her cell phone.
That afternoon my eyes were opened to something I had never realized before. I felt guilty as I thought about all the times I had done the exact same thing to my family and friends. I had made my family and friends feel like they were second to my cell phone.
Have you noticed that cell phones have almost become an extension of people’s arms?
Our society has become so comfortable with our cell phones to the point of putting the phone above a real person sitting across from us. We can be in a one on one conversation with a friend, receive a text message, pull it out and read it without a thought of how it made our friend feel. Has that ever happened to you?
I am very guilty of using my cell at the wrong times in the past and I have a hunch that you have too. I am not saying cell that phones and texting are wrong – I just want you to think about your cell phone habits and ask yourself these questions:
What are my cell phone habits communicating to those around me?
When you’re with your friends or family, do you make them feel like they are the most important? Do you put them above yourself and above your phone?
Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Are you making the people around you feel more significant than yourself?
Is God coming in second to your cell phone?
When you wake up in the morning what is the first thing you do? I have to constantly resist the temptation of checking my cell the moment I wake up. Who should I give my first thoughts and moments to? God or my phone? Obviously I should give it to God. It’s a hard thing to do and I must make that choice every single day. I have to say no to the temptation of my phone and say yes to God’s Word. My goal is to start off my day by reading my Bible and praying – not checking my e-mail and texts messages.
What about you? Is your cell phone an extension of your arm? Do find yourself in the depths of despair whenever your battery dies or you lose your phone for a few hours?
Maybe it’s to revamp your cell phone usage and start considering those around you as more important.
If you simply cannot live without your phone, then your phone has become an idol in your life. You have become a slave to your phone without even realizing it.
Here’s some practical tips to help wean yourself off from being a slave to your cell phone.
- Try leaving your cell phone in your bedroom instead of carrying it with you through the house.
- When you are out shopping or out to eat, leave it in your purse (on silent) instead of at the table or in your hand.
- Don’t check text messages when other’s are talking to you.
- Commit to reading your Bible in the morning before you check your cell phone. Give God the first moments of your day.
Cell phones are a great blessing and help to us in so many ways. But they can also be a great distraction and hindrance to our relationship with God, and to the relationships with those around us. Choose to use your cell phone as tool for doing good instead of allowing it to rule your life.
Photo Credit: Sxc.hu – Domiwo