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Fighting for Control of My Life

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You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. (Exodus 20:4)

Cell phones are powerful in many ways. They are amazing cameras, workstations, and access to the larger world. But like all powerful things, they have the potential to take over our lives. Too many of us underestimate the power of the cell phone and its ability to become an idol. If we were forced to jump at all hours of the day and night, at the beck and call of someone else, we would complain bitterly. If nearly every activity in life must be viewed through the lens of one object, then we independent Americans would stand up and as say, “enough!” Yet, we are blind to the influence of the cell phone.

These little cases hold our financial information, our list of friends, family, and acquaintances. They hold our secrets. Phones are a gateway to other worlds and other people. Cell phones have the power to interrupt anyone’s day with a text, email, or Facebook post. Now, one must add the ever-growing number of other apps that can speak in new ways. The minute adults catch on to a new app fad, younger people move on to a new alternative. The cell phone controls our desires and creates new wants and needs.

I am not trying to put an end to cell phone usage. I love my cell phone and it makes a huge difference in my ministry. But it is a demanding taskmaster. I long for the days when people were more patient. Before the cell phone, we could get back to individuals when it was convenient. Now, people consider it a personal slight if you do not return a text within five minutes, or an email within an hour. Cell phones are ruthless taskmasters that have molded us into their image.

Today, take a few minutes and consider the role of your cell phone in your life. For a day or two, pay attention to how often you use it. Consider whether you choose to use it, or it calls you to attention. I doubt many people willingly hand over their lives to a ruthless taskmaster intentionally. Most taskmasters are initially charming and desirable. Then, the ruthlessness of their demands come to the forefront. Today, pray for the clarity to see your relationship with your cell phone. Then, ask God to give you the strength to take back the control over your phone. None of us can serve two masters. Cell phones are great when we control them, but we must not give them control over our lives. Now, I have to wrap up this devotion, I want to watch an episode of “The Crown” on my cell phone.