Teachable Moments

All I Want for Christmas Is a New Cell Phone Pt. 2

We continue our cautious investigation of the benefits of purchasing the newest cell phone that will certainly be available this upcoming holiday season.  If we pay attention to the eye-catching commercials that will flood our screens, we could be in danger of buying before considering all the pros and cons.

Referencing once more Tony Reinke’s book, 12 Ways Your Cell Phone is Changing You, we will consider 6 more ways that owning a cell phone with all the bells and whistles might be more of a detriment than a blessing.  Make sure and read Part 1 for the first 6 considerations.

7. It’s just a click awayEternal regret may follow private smartphone clicks happening right now. 

  • We have at our fingertips an instant opportunity to barrage ourselves with an epidemic of images that brings everything from mindless diversion to blatant sinful activity.  Our present moment can produce long-lasting remorse if we’re not diligent in guarding our “here and now”.
    CONSIDER:  Do you have the self-control needed NOT to click for images at every opportunity?  Do you have the godly fortitude to resist sexual temptation offered through your cell phone?

8. Chronological Snobbery The average output of email and social-media text is estimated at 3.6 trillion words, or about thirty-six million books – typed out every day… We suffer from neomania – an addiction to anything new within the last five minutes

  • With the amount of information available, Christian discernment is a must for anyone who seeks to use their cell phone wisely.
    CONSIDER: How will you determine what is worth reading and what is not?  

9. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) We worry that we might miss an important status update, an urgent news alert, the score of the big game, or even the latest offering on our preferred streaming service. 

  • FOMO is a cause of anxiety, especially for Millennials and Gen-Zers.
    CONSIDER:  Can you put yourself on a timer, purposefully making sure you are missing out?  Make sure you can live with not-knowing if you purchase a mobile device that allows for 24 hour connectivity.

10. Gossip is still gossipCrowd-sourcing verdicts and spreading unfounded conclusions online can destroy the reputation of Christian [and non-Christians]. This is when the script goes satanically wrong… Smartphones and social media help feed our generation’s outrage.

  • Gossip is telling someone else’s story without their permission, especially with the intent either by commission or omission to harm them.  We really don’t have the right to go around sharing our opinion about others. It hurts and is sinful.
    CONSIDER:  Are you able to only use your words for good and to be wise in how you share your opinions?  

11. Every word God will judge our digital conversations, private texts, and public tweets by the intentions of our hearts.

  • The book of James warns against the evils of the tongue.  If you can think twice and three times before you post something, then maybe the new cell phone will be a good buy after all.
    CONSIDER:  Would you say that whatever you are saying through your cell phone is God-glorifying, of Kingdom benefit, and is a blessing to others?  Do you understand the pain that can be caused by careless, judgmental, or harsh words?

12. Is it Beneficial? We must give our time to things that are godly, give us joy, or prepare us for self-sacrifice.

  • Everything we watch, look at, listen to, or read should in some way be graded by the question, “is this beneficial”? (“I have the right to do anything,” you say–but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything“–but not everything is constructive.  1 Cor. 10:23, NIV)
    CONSIDER:  We only have so many moments in each day – how willing are you to stop and purposefully think about what spurs on, encourages, or nourishes your soul?  And if it doesn’t, are you willing to turn off the phone and choose to do something else?

Buying a new cell phone will take a lot of work; we have to consider the price and all the features it has to offer from screens to picture quality to digital connectivity abilities. But accompanying all its features, we must reflect on our ability to handle both the benefits and temptations it offers.

Every time the cell phone is in use whether scrolling through data, searching through images, engaging in social media, or even calling a friend – Yes EVERY time it’s on -,  we must think critically with self-reflection and honest evaluation. 

Dear Reader, before you buy that cell phone – review this blog post and the one before (Part 1) to see whether it is an excellent investment for your soul.  Be willing to do without the newest and best cell phone if it is not in line with Kingdom living.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men. It instructs us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live sensible, upright, and godly lives in the present age, as we await the blessed hope and glorious appearance of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 2:11-13, Berean Bible Study Version

Dear Reader, may we worship God daily through our careful handling of our cell phones.

Blessings Abundant – Elizabeth

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