Screen Time

Screen Time

The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. Matthew 6:22-23

If I care to know, I can easily check my phone’s battery usage to see how much time I’ve spent looking at its various applications in the last week. I usually don’t care to know. I looked today and was disappointed to see that last week, I spent 50 minutes reading my Bible, which was 10th on the list of time-consuming activities.

As I was pondering today’s passage, I thought about those things upon which my gaze is fixed in a day. In the passage, Jesus insists that what we look at matters. If we keep focused on the good and healthy in life, we will pursue goodness and health. Likewise, if our eyes are constantly looking to the unhealthy, predictable results will ensue.

This isn’t a rant against smart phones. This is just me trying to be honest about my daily pursuits. When Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on the water, he succeeded as long as his eyes were fixed on Christ. When the wind and waves distracted his gaze, he sank.

I may not be distracted from Christ by literal wind and waves, but daily, there are thousands of diversions competing for my attention. They may not all be evil in themselves, but anything that turns my gaze from God darkens my eyes.

Whatever I spend the most time pursuing is the thing I love the most. Whatever I love the most is my god. In my addiction, drugs became my god. I couldn’t admit this, but it was true, whether I admitted it or not. Now, if I call myself a Christian but I spend zero daily time in the Bible while I spend four hours on Netflix or video games, I have a hypocrisy problem.

If I find my faith anemic and if I feel God is distant, I likely need to look no further than my phone’s battery usage. Am I daily reading the Bible, praying, meditating and pursuing God and faith? Or do I find my joy, affirmation, and meaning in entertainment and social media? If I desire faith, life, and recovery, I must fix my gaze on those things and I must daily pursue them.

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  1. Renee Garrick says:

    What a great measurement, Scott! While I read my Bible in book form instead of on my phone, I can admit (sadly) that I spend far too much time on frivolous pursuits. Putting my Bible reading time at the front end of my day makes a difference. For me it’s about developing a habit. A God habit.

    • Scott says:

      Whenever I think about auditing my time, I get a little uncomfortable with what I say is the most important thing in my life and what I actually spend the most time doing. thanks Renee!

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