Technology and the Christian—The balance

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Dear Young People,

“Thou shalt not use computers, cell phones, Ipods, and Televisions.” Can you give me the reference for this text in your Bibles? No? This is because such a verse does not exist in the Bible. Neither does a verse like, “Thou shalt watch television after finishing thy homework.” How then can we know how God wants us to manage these things?

Do you know that the Bible gives us enough instruction to help us take the right course on every single matter that affects us? Read II Tim 3:16 & 17 carefully, and fill in the blanks.

Every scripture in the Bible is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be ____________, ____________ ____________ for every good work. (II Tim 3:16,17)

It is sufficient to make a Christian thoroughly equipped. It is sufficient to make a Christian perfect and complete. But we should not expect to find a scripture worded like the text at the beginning of this article.

Technology can be dangerous
Technology can be misused to such an extent that it can become dangerous. We might have heard about:

  • families that have come to ruin because of gambling online in the Internet
  • young people who have been stalked and murdered because they put private information on the Internet or chatted with strangers
  • young people who have become addicted to video games and how the games changed their personalities
  • people who are hooked to watching pornographic material on their computers and television sets

That is why parents, teachers, and other authorities worry about the use of technology. Not only are they worried about gross misuse like those listed above, they are concerned about more harmless gadgets like the telephone, cellphone, ipod, and so on. They want young people to be disciplined in the use of these facilities.

Technology and the Basket Analogy
This does not mean that the various technologies are evil in themselves. Evil or otherwise, technology is here to stay and we will need to use them in the course of our lives for communication, education, entertainment, and so on. We have not been called to hide our heads in the sand or become sadhujis doing sanyas in the Himalayas. We have been placed in the world in our various situations, and we need to deal with the various temptations and pressures of everyday life, and through it all, we need to live for the Lord.

I remember an analogy that our pastor often uses. A man was asked to carry a basket to a certain place. The basket was heavy and he found it difficult to walk. To further complicate matters, he found the basket challenging and began to carry it skillfully and capably. But it was still very heavy. In all this confusion, he forgot to walk, but stood there, carrying his basket skillfully. Because of the Adamic curse, we have to go to school, cultivate hobbies, strive to excel in sports and other activities, study in the university, find jobs, send our children to school and so on. None of these things are wrong. Infact they are God-given assignments. But they take away much of our time and we forget to build our relationship with our Lord. When we do well in our earthly tasks and forget to focus on the Lord, it is all a big waste. That is like carrying the basket well, but failing to walk. It is important to carry the basket well, but it is more important to walk.

These technologies are part of our basket. We must learn to use them well. But while we do that, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are spiritual people. These technologies have the potential of becoming an addiction and taking up too much of our thoughts, time, and money.

In the coming issues, we look at various technologies. Let us try to understand their uses and their abuses. At the same time, let us also note some important principles from God’s word that have a bearing on our use of these technologies. By learning to use technology well and in a disciplined way, we will bring honor to the name of Jesus.
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or ___________ you do, do all to the ___________ of __________. (1 Cor 10:31)

When our children behave well in public, those watching them say to themselves, “What lovely children! Their parents have brought them up well.” Thus the children bring honor to their parents by their behaviour. In the same way, we must bring honor and glory to God by the way we conduct ourselves in our everyday lives in whatever we do. We must behave with dignity for we are children of the King.

(Nahomi Dhinakar; Published in Youth Column of Dhyanamlar May 2006) Click here for other Youth Column articles

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