The Case of the Dumb Smart Phone

This article is reprinted. The original blog was written on July 23, 2017. Readers will be happy to know I am now using a smart, smart phone.

"...whatever you do, do it ALL for the glory of God." 

1 Corinthians 10:31

This week, I took a monumental step. I decided to join the ranks of smart phone users. All things considered, I am a little behind. However, I have to say, my "dumb phone" has served me well. For years, it allowed me to call and be called, and eventually, when I finally gave in to the pressing demands of the modern world, I even updated it to text. But curiosity finally got the better of me. I got tired of not being able to see the group texts between my family members, of wishing that I could see the precious pictures that were being shared with me, and of missing out on cool gadgets that measured the number of steps I take and how much sleep I get. So, I upgraded to a smart phone.

Unfortunately, sometimes simple is better, and technology isn't all it's cracked up to be. For all its cool features, after two days, I still cannot send outgoing texts. Next to actual calling, this is, of course, a primary component of almost every cell phone these days. So, my smart phone doesn't seem to be so smart after all.

As I borrowed my old "dumb phone" from my son to respond to a text I had received (while contemplating throwing my new phone across the room), God began to use this experience to bring to mind a very important truth. For all its bells and whistles, this new phone is failing to do the most simple task, one of the very basic things for which it was created.

Hmm, isn't that just like me?

I am a Christian. That's pretty easy to say--at least here in America. But as such, I have been created in Christ to "do" certain things--the first of which is to glorify God. Isaiah 43:7 says that I was made for the glory of the One who created me. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says that whether I eat or drink I should "do it all for the glory of the God."

What does that mean? It means that an essential part of why I was created is to bring honor to God by what I say and what I do. Just like my phone was created in order to help me communicate with other people, I was created to please God. Did you get that?  Before I consider what pleases me, before I consider what pleases my husband, my children, my boss or my friends, I have to consider what pleases everything. The way I live should be pleasing first and foremost to God.

My husband is working to fix my phone, and I have full confidence that he will. Eventually, I will be able to send texts, and my phone will once again be fully functional. And I will experience all the joys of being a smart phone owner.  But what about me?

As a Christian, I can appear to be doing everything I should (or shouldn't) do. I can wear the right kind of clothes and go to church every Sunday, and that's good. I can read my Bible and pray, and that's pretty awesome. I can even sing praises and say all the right things, and that's really amazing. But if I am not seeking God's will for my life and living the way He wants me to, then I am not doing my job.

Now, you might say, "But those things doglorify the Lord." And you would be right, but those things aren't enough.

You see, I can implement all the "fancy features" of Christianity into my life, but if I don't fully accomplish this one simple task then I am just as useless to the Lord as my current smart phone is to me.

It doesn't mean that those things aren't good. After all, it's great that I can access my email on my smart phone. It's awesome that I can take pictures on it. It's pretty amazing that I can even listen to music on it. BUT if I can't return texts, then honestly, it's just not doing its job.

God doesn't want me to give Him only so much of my life. He wants it all. So, for me anyway, that means that I need to consider how I can honor Him more. How can I tellmore people about Christ and His love? How can I more often use the talents God has given me for His glory? How can I reflect His magnificence more in my life?

Just like my smart phone isn't really very useful to me now, I can only be truly useful to God when I give Him my all. Unfortunately, that's not something I like to think about.

While I often seek more money in the bank, more bargains at the store, more success in my work, more peace in my home, more features in my technology, I don't often like to consider how I can give more of myself to the Lord. But that's exactly what I need because, you see, that's exactly what I was created to do.

C.S. Lewis once wrote, "In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him."

I don't want to be a dumb phone or a dysfunctional smart one. I want to serve the purpose for which I was created. I want to truly glorify my Lord in all things so that I might indeed enjoy Him and be enjoyed by Him more.