My Smartphone Can Hurt Me Spiritually

Sometimes even good things turn bad. My smartphone is a wonderful tool for ministry. It goes with me everywhere. I can email, text and talk on the phone almost anywhere.

All those hours sitting in the hospital waiting room are still productive hours. Travel time can be filled with useful work. But, that constant connection to my inbox can steal family time, sleep and sabbatical rests. Nothing can ruin your day off like a message from the hyper critical fault-finder.

I’ve learned to turn off my phone for certain periods of the day. My daily prayer time and sermon prep time are two segments of my day where my phone is on silent. I know that my voicemail will work and texts will record for later when I am able to deal with them.

I quit reading email in bed. This helps avoid sleepless nights brooding over problems and news I can’t deal with until morning anyway. My wife appreciates me leaving work out of our family time.

I love twitter, texting and Facebook. They are great tools to share ministry information, keep in touch with people and news sites. But, they can rob time and attention from more important duties. I don’t check Facebook until lunch, twitter is not allowed to scroll or tweet freely on my phone or desktop computer.

I also use hootsuite to schedule most of my tweets and Facebook status updates. This way I only have to run them a few times per week. I try to automate posting of blog updates so that keeps me from having to visit FB, twitter, Google+ etc. several times per week. My ADD does not allow me to just read necessary posts I know I’ll chase cyber rabbits for 30 minutes for every perusal of Facebook or twitter read.

We need to learn to use our phones for God’s glory and not just work.

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