Dependant upon Distraction – Rev. Lee Wells

Dependant upon Distraction

Lynda and I dropped our phones off to allow the “Invisible Shield” folks to install permanent screen protectors on our phones.
Wow! It did not take long to realize how lost I felt without my phone. At one point, I had to ask someone for the time. I had not done that in many years! It made me begin to realize how dependant we have become on digital devices. There were several times throughout the night where I, almost subconsciously, reached to check my phone. This really stirred my spirit up.
Sin or Safe?
In a season of prayer, I began to meditate on those tendencies that I had been recognizing tonight within myself. I have been stirred about the age we live and the common issues of devices that bring distraction into our lives and our widespread dependence upon such things.
Could it be that the old thinking of ‘sin vs. safe’ is not the most accurate method of determining the harmful effects of our participations and actions? Could the enemy of our soul somehow dupe the church triumphant and do it so subtlety that we not even recognize the disastrous effects of the simple, yet effective, attack on our mind?
Nowadays instead of simply steering away from sinful content on our computers and phones, there seems to be another category to watch for.

Have we created such useful devices that we cannot carry-on a decent conversation anymore without the constant checking and monitoring of our constant digital connections. Can we not even drive down the road without the urge to talk, text, or somehow communicate with a digitized world?
I am not even going to deal with the local traffic laws and dangers associated with driving while distracted. I am specifically concerned with the spiritual well-being of men who are so controlled by a digital device. 
Once upon a time I had lunch with a very well-known preacher, whom I really looked forward to speaking with and getting to know better, however, we may have enjoyed a very few minutes of conversation, over the 45 minutes we spent sitting at that table together. The entire time together was spent with him being distracted by his handheld digital device. 
The saddest part of the story is when seeing him later, and watching him in service, I noticed he could not even be attentive in church due to his digital distraction. It seemed to rule his every moment. This is not an inditment against ministry or men in general, but it is a reality we all must confront in our digital generation.

It has made me wonder what God thinks about our affection of the digital world?
The Word of God teaches us that We can clearly identify a person’s affections based upon where they choose to allow their attention to be drawn. Colossians 3:2 says we must: Set our affection on things above, not on things on the earth. To set one’s affection literally means to set one’s mind, the inward impulse and disposition; not only to seek heaven but to think heaven.  (Vincent’s Word Studies; Vol. 3, Colossians 3:2 “set your affection”)
Heaven, or the kingdom of heaven, is not simply a place to go someday, but it is a place of dwelling now. Our thoughts, our works, and our affections should be based upon our commitment to the heavenly kingdom that we so sincerely enjoy.
Could it be that we have allowed out affections to be shifted to the digital distractions of facebook, twitter and forums? While there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these social networking avenues, could our desire for them out weigh our desire for prayer, studying the Word of God, and reaching a lost world, and therefore become a sin-issue before God?
My prayer for each of us in this generation would be that we have not become hypnotized by the simple hope of a return email, status update, like, or comment of a digital world when we have such a great work ahead of us in these last days. The men of the church must once again be validated by the kingdom of heaven rather than the superficial world of digital distraction.
God help us set our affections on things above rather than the device in our hand.
Rev. Lee Wells 
NTXD Men - Secretary 

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