Everyone knows by personal experience and observation how many and how massive are the problems resulting from the digital revolution. And the vast majority of Christians are concerned enough to want to do something about it. But what can we do?
God Is All-Knowing
Our parents or spouses can’t see everything or be everywhere. Accountability software can be circumvented and our accountability partners duped. But we can’t escape, circumvent, or dupe the all-seeing eye of God. He sees everything: every place, every second, every screen, every click, every tap. He has a daily report of all the sites we visit, all the messages we send, all the Instagram accounts we follow. If we really knew that He knows, what a difference that would make. The more we can remind ourselves of God’s omnipresence and omniscience, the more we will seek to use technology in ways that give Him pleasure, not in ways that provoke His wrath. Yes, our technology use can please God. He delights to see truth instead of falsehood on Facebook, to hear truth streaming across the world, and to witness our online witness to unbelievers.
God Is Judge
God’s knowledge of us is not being filed away in some dusty cabinet or distant server that will one day be lost or wiped. No, as Judge He will one day call us to account not just for every idle word but for every idle and idol click, for every second spent in pointless time-wasting. We may silence our internal judge, our conscience; we may outsmart our earthly judges, our parents, and our accountability partners; but we will never escape the judgment of God. Certainly, God’s grace in Christ covers every sin; no true believer in Jesus will ever fall away from Him, and His righteousness imputed to us secures heaven for us. Nevertheless, we know that on that final day, God will weigh the works of Christians. We will stand before the great Judge, who we will face not as our Condemner but as our Evaluator who will judge what we have done and will grant His people lesser and greater rewards according to their obedience. Let His discerning judgment help you make discerning judgments in your use of technology.
God Is Saviour
Sometimes guilt stops sin; our consciences pain us and warn us to change our ways. More often, guilt multiplies sin; it leaves us hopeless and despairing. We’ve sinned yet again with our cell phone, failed once more on our iPad. We feel so condemned, what’s the point in trying anymore? We’ve sinned so much, so what harm will another sin do?
Guilt also multiplies sin by creating distance between us and God. It alienates us and separates us from God, making sin that much easier. That’s why we need to hear about salvation, grace, and forgiveness all over again.
Nothing deters sin like the forgiveness of sin because it not only removes guilt, it also multiplies love for the Forgiver. The more we can embrace divine forgiveness, the more we embrace the Forgiver, the more love for Christ we will enjoy.
(to be continued)
Dr. David Murray is professor of Old Testament and practical theology at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, pastor of Grand Rapids Free Reformed Church, and author of Christians get Depressed too.
First published in Tabletalk Magazine 01 October 2016, an outreach of Ligonier. https://www.ligonier.org. © Tabletalk magazine. Used with permission