By: Kevin Jackson
Wow has this world changed in the last 20 years. Technology has played a huge part in how our world has become faster, more convenient and more hectic all at the same time. Is your head spinning yet? Mine is and I have been part of this technology revolution.
Many of us Gen-Xers (I am one myself at 44 years old) have been knee deep in technology for the last 25 years. We think we have a handle on it, well, that is until we have teenagers of our own. They don’t know a world without the internet and cell phones. Some days it feels that all I ever see is the top of my 2 daughter’s heads. Snapchatting, Tweeting, Facebooking, etc. etc. Maddening for sure, but it is the way they are connecting with each other and the rest of the world. That’s a blessing. Having to fight with them to put their phones down so we can pray and have a family dinner, well that’s a curse.
Let’s start with the blessing side. Technology has certainly made things easier. The fact that I am writing this blog, placing it on our website, and Tweeting it out to nearly 35,000 people shows that technology has made this world a whole lot smaller. Think about it, the very existence of Living Christian would not be possible even ten years ago. 25 years ago when I was in college I took a computer class and had to go from the fifth floor to the third floor just to pick up the paper I printed and now I barely print off anything! We certainly live in a digital world, but a more connected world as well. For us Christians, we can listen to worship music 24 hours a day on the car radio that gets a signal from a satellite in outer space. If I am too sick (or lazy) on a Sunday morning, I can stream our church service online and not miss a beat. My bible is on my iPad where I can follow along with our lead pastor and take notes, save them on my device or even post it directly on my Facebook page. What a time we live in!
Now let’s get to the curse part. So many things are in my head, but I will have to focus. No, Skynet has not taken over yet. I am not afraid of Arnold Schwarzenegger coming back and trying to kill John Conner (you won’t see too many Terminator references on most Christian Blogs, but here you will). But, with great access to anything you ever wanted to see and know comes great responsibility. God teaches us to control our desires and wants. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” So, with the internet and technology comes temptation and access. I would say it is easier to be tempted than ever before. Never before have you been able to pull up an old girlfriend or boyfriend on Facebook and see what they are up to now. We have access to everything 24 hours a day, sin included. Sex is used to advertise to us every single day for every single item it seems. We also see what is happening in the world the second it happens. So with that information, Satan can influence millions of people instantly. Scary thought. Our children are growing up in a world where they can watch a rated R movie instantly on their iPhones and Google anything they might not understand. Instant learning without the benefit of gaining any instant wisdom.
The innocence is gone.
So, where does that leave us? It leaves us with the ability to utilize technology and connect people across the world. Now, we can choose to use these new powers for good or use them for evil. But have no doubt; they will be used for both.
All I can tell you is what I try to do. I am trying to spread the Word of God to everyone I can. I am trying to make disciples that can go out and make more disciples. It starts at home with my family and in my everyday life with friends and coworkers. Then I am going out to as many people as I can reach through the various Living Christian platforms (LivingChristian.org, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest). We are a community of believers that is now over 40,000 strong across the world. We have the power to make change and there has never been a time in the history of this world that it has been easier. Let’s use technology to share as much as we can. God is using you and He is using me right now. Don’t be afraid of technology, embrace it. Embrace the power it gives you, but also the responsibility. God is giving you the tools to spread His message. Don’t overthink it, just do it. And don’t forget to teach your teenagers to do it as well. If you teach them responsibility with their technology usage, they will have the resources to make disciples too.
Remember, Jesus was the first one to say “I’ll be back”. And when this sequel comes, let’s make sure He has the largest opening weekend ever. Don’t worry, I will make sure to send out a Tweet!