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Screen Time

2 Samuel 11 tells us that during the time when kings go to war, David remained in Jerusalem, and he saw a woman bathing, sadly we all know the ending. This is someone, home when he shouldn’t be, with too much time on his hands and the power to do anything he wants. Sound familiar? 

Apparently the average iPhone user touches their phone 2,617 times a day, this was before Covid 19 changed our routines. Many of us are spending much more time at home now, and with that can come challenges. The screens are closer to hand, and there is more time to look at them. It’s easy to procrastinate, and be distracted by technology. This gets even more challenging if there are children in your household.

We have choices with how we surf the internet and what we watch on Netflix, etc. My wife and I were recently watching a new show, but over a few episodes we noticed a gradual moral decline, we could have kept watching, there were some funny bits and it was light-hearted enough. We had to ask ourselves “Why are we even watching this?” We realised it was glorifying the wrong things and we were not happy to go along with that, it wasn’t doing us any good and so we stopped. Don’t get me wrong we still watch shows on Netflix, and a lot of what we watch isn’t ‘Christian’ but we decide carefully what we watch and how much. We guard ourselves from just keeping watching something because it is there.

In this season where normal activities are postponed and the use of technology is on the rise, how are you looking after your screen time, or looking out for your loved ones in theirs? 

When it comes to the internet my personal weakness is a tendency to lust– but it could just as easily be gambling, materialism/compulsive shopping, pornography, violence or something else. To combat this I have accountability software on all my devices (I use Accountable2You but Covenant Eyes is good and X3Watch which is less thorough but it is free). The software picks up if you have accessed material on your banned list and notifies your accountability partners. There is also a regular overview of your online activity. This is just monitoring behaviour of course, when what matters most is what is going on in the heart. 

Jesus said “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light” (Matthew 6:22).

So my friends, what are you looking at, and what am I? Does it bring us closer to Jesus, or further away? Jesus always gives us a better offer than the world does if we are willing to look (1 Cor 10:13).

This could be a time to foster some healthy rhythms and spiritual disciplines. How about having a screen free evening and doing something positive with people in your household, like playing board games? There are lots of options that aren’t monopoly!! Have you heard of Heckmeck or Beastie Bar? (Look for them on amazon smile) If you are going to watch something on Netflix what about some of the Planet Earth or Blue Planet series, allowing you to marvel at Gods amazing creation. Maybe you could fast from technology and screens for a day and use the time to read/listen to the bible. People love to receive handwritten letters; at this time when physical contact is limited a handwritten note to your neighbours to say you are thinking of them and praying for them could make a world of difference. 

Matt is an Inspire Missioner in the United Kingdom. If you’d like to connect with him or other Inspire Missioners: CONTACT US

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