I stared at them for about fifteen minutes.

They were an older couple, maybe mid-seventies, and they were sitting on a bench in Chick-Fil-A.  They were separated by about five feet.  For those fifteen minutes they did not look up or look at each other. If they still loved each other after their 50 or so years of marriage (I’m purely speculating) then they had a funny way of showing it.

The reason neither looked up nor at each other for fifteen minutes was because they were on their cell phones.  Natalie, my sixteen-year-old daughter, was with me and she witnessed the same as me.  I said to her: “That’s what’s wrong with the older generation.  They are always on their cell phones. They never talk to each other.” It got a wry smile from her.

I do tire of my generation putting down the younger one because “They are always on their cell phones.”  If you are a people watcher then you will see what I see and that is, we love our cell phones. Whether you are sixteen or sixty-six, they are fun to play with and they do control our lives to some degree.

All of us have had the experience of leaving home for work, getting a block from home and realizing that you have left your cell phone.  You race back home because without it, you can’t function.  On it is your schedule for the day, your emails, texts, etc.  And how could you make it through a day without updating your Facebook status?  Your work life and personal life is all on that Smart Phone.  It’s smarter than you and so you rely on it.

Like I guess most things in life, there is good and bad.  The good wins out if you want it to and the bad wins if you let it.  I love my Smart Phone because I can do work much more efficiently on it.  I can keep up with my sixteen-year-old on it, and now that she is driving, I can text her to pick up bread on the way home.  On it, I can take beautiful pictures.  I can keep notes on it for future articles, like I did this one of the older couple not speaking to each other in Chick-Fil-A.

Yes if you let it, the bad takes over.  You stay on it all the time.  While in Chick-Fil-A you don’t talk to your spouse of fifty years because he is not nearly as interesting as Fortnight.  Or you actually think that everyone wants to know what you have been doing all day so you tell them on Facebook.  (Hint: They don’t.)

I suppose that things aren’t good or bad, but rather what we make of them and do with them determines their value.
Maybe Christian people should think how their Smart Phone might be used to help others.  Facebook could be a forum for spreading, not hateful political jabs, but kind, loving Christian words.

In today’s world we take everything to an extreme.  We can take exercise or diet or cell phones to extremes.  The preacher was preaching on moderation.  He really preached a hard sermon on moderation.  As a church member was leaving church, she said to the preacher, “I think you overdid it.”

On the one hand, you can argue that moderation is not Christian. What I mean by that is you can argue that Christianity is radical. When Jesus calls folk to take up a cross, is that moderation? When Jesus told one rich guy to sell all that he had and give it to the poor, is that not radical? When Jesus said “love your enemies,” wasn’t that moderation?  Some might say that moderation is for folk who don’t take the real gospel seriously. So, you can say that.

However, you can also argue based on the NT that moderation is a very Christian thing. In fact, the king of all radical Christians, the Apostle Paul himself, who might have been a little OCD, said that the fruit of the Spirit includes “self-control or moderation.” I’ve got a hunch that if Paul had a Smart Phone he would have been on it all the time, talking to church leaders and texting instructions.

So, moderation is not easy.  But try it sometime, especially when out with your spouse of fifty years.

I stared at them for about fifteen minutes.

They were an older couple, maybe mid-seventies, and they were sitting on a bench in Chick-Fil-A.  They were separated by about five feet.  For those fifteen minutes they did not look up or look at each other. If they still loved each other after their 50 or so years of marriage (I’m purely speculating) then they had a funny way of showing it.

The reason neither looked up nor at each other for fifteen minutes was because they were on their cell phones.  Natalie, my sixteen-year-old daughter, was with me and she witnessed the same as me.  I said to her: “That’s what’s wrong with the older generation.  They are always on their cell phones. They never talk to each other.” It got a wry smile from her.

I do tire of my generation putting down the younger one because “They are always on their cell phones.”  If you are a people watcher then you will see what I see and that is, we love our cell phones. Whether you are sixteen or sixty-six, they are fun to play with and they do control our lives to some degree.

All of us have had the experience of leaving home for work, getting a block from home and realizing that you have left your cell phone.  You race back home because without it, you can’t function.  On it is your schedule for the day, your emails, texts, etc.  And how could you make it through a day without updating your Facebook status?  Your work life and personal life is all on that Smart Phone.  It’s smarter than you and so you rely on it.

Like I guess most things in life, there is good and bad.  The good wins out if you want it to and the bad wins if you let it.  I love my Smart Phone because I can do work much more efficiently on it.  I can keep up with my sixteen-year-old on it, and now that she is driving, I can text her to pick up bread on the way home.  On it, I can take beautiful pictures.  I can keep notes on it for future articles, like I did this one of the older couple not speaking to each other in Chick-Fil-A.

Yes if you let it, the bad takes over.  You stay on it all the time.  While in Chick-Fil-A you don’t talk to your spouse of fifty years because he is not nearly as interesting as Fortnight.  Or you actually think that everyone wants to know what you have been doing all day so you tell them on Facebook.  (Hint: They don’t.)

I suppose that things aren’t good or bad, but rather what we make of them and do with them determines their value.
Maybe Christian people should think how their Smart Phone might be used to help others.  Facebook could be a forum for spreading, not hateful political jabs, but kind, loving Christian words.

In today’s world we take everything to an extreme.  We can take exercise or diet or cell phones to extremes.  The preacher was preaching on moderation.  He really preached a hard sermon on moderation.  As a church member was leaving church, she said to the preacher, “I think you overdid it.”

On the one hand, you can argue that moderation is not Christian. What I mean by that is you can argue that Christianity is radical. When Jesus calls folk to take up a cross, is that moderation? When Jesus told one rich guy to sell all that he had and give it to the poor, is that not radical? When Jesus said “love your enemies,” wasn’t that moderation?  Some might say that moderation is for folk who don’t take the real gospel seriously. So, you can say that.

However, you can also argue based on the NT that moderation is a very Christian thing. In fact, the king of all radical Christians, the Apostle Paul himself, who might have been a little OCD, said that the fruit of the Spirit includes “self-control or moderation.” I’ve got a hunch that if Paul had a Smart Phone he would have been on it all the time, talking to church leaders and texting instructions.

So, moderation is not easy.  But try it sometime, especially when out with your spouse of fifty years.

~Pastor Steve

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