Technology and the Christian
December 14, 2019
Everything around us has gone through a transitional process so great that most young people will not know what an album or rotary phone is. Did you know there used to be phone booths scattered around on street corners or in stores? For 25 cents you could call your parents if you got stranded and needed a ride. And if you had to call someone outside of your area code, you could expect to pay long distance charges. Today just about everyone carries a phone in their pocket and can call anyone anywhere. TVs went from black and white to color. They were large boxes that are now just inches deep and can hang on walls. During the past 45 years movies changed to videotapes to DVDs to websites— just a click away. Check out the differences in the car your family drives and the original Model T! The Wright brothers’ first flight was 120 feet in 12 seconds at 6.8 mph. Did you know a commercial plane today will fly at 540 mph! Even as recent as the 1990s people would stay in touch by sitting down and writing a letter—by hand—then put it in the mail, waiting weeks to receive a reply. Today you are just a text away from communicating with someone—anywhere in the world! We can watch, listen to, and be in contact in seconds. Technology has changed our world and our lives forever.
We are never far from our computers, phones, and electronic devices. Computers are now small enough that we have them in our homes and in our classrooms. No one needs to pull out an Encyclopedia Britannica volume in order to do research. Information on any topic is just a click away. Technology is here to stay, and it is a challenge even to keep up with the changes happening today. What matters is how we use technology and how we allow it to change us. How do you think you’d feel if you couldn’t use your iPad on a long trip to Grandma’s? When was the last time you went a day or even an hour without using one of your devices? How do you manage the information highway and remain faithful to the standards God has given?
Memory Text: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2, NKJV).
Our Beliefs, no. 22, Christian Behavior: “For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things that will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 98-100
Read Philippians 4:8.
The new girl at your school is different. She’s always been homeschooled. Her family doesn’t own a TV. And when a teacher assigns you to find some information on the Internet for homework, the new girl asks if she can go to the library and look it up. “We don’t have the Internet in our home,“ she explains. “We believe it brings in too much garbage that a Christian doesn’t need. Just like TV and videos. We’d rather live a simpler life.“ At lunchtime the new girl sits at your table. One of your friends says, “Are you serious about not having a TV or the Internet? You’re crazy. You’re living in the Dark Ages!“
Are you going to get involved in this conversation? Does the new girl have a point? Or do you agree that her family is taking things too far?
Read 2 Corinthians 10:5; Ephesians 5:15-17; Philippians 4:8.
Everything we do reflects whether we have a relationship with God or not. How we spend our time. What we look at. What we listen to. The things we find to do and invest our time and energy in. We are either building a character to fit into this world or we are building a character to fit into God’s kingdom.
What are the things that occupy your time and energy that keep you from building a character for eternity?
What activities are you doing that help you develop a Christlike character?
Unscramble the words and then use them to fill in the blanks below.
tsniaga ecneidebo ytivitpac thguoht yreve
stlaxe egdelwonk gnignirb stnemugra “Casting down and high thing that itself the of God, every into to the of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NKJV).
Read Psalm 119:9.
Technology touches every part of our lives. So how do we, as Christians, relate to this ever-changing world? The internet brings both blessings and curses. So much information at the tips of your fingers—Bible study guides, encyclopedias, health tips, instant connection to faraway friends. Yet through the same connection comes material that is not uplifting or edifying.
As Christian teens today, you have far more choices to make than teens 10, 25, or 50 years ago did. Each new technology offers us choices. Will we use the internet to download apps for building a character for heaven? Or will we use the internet for our selfish pleasure? Will we view materials featuring death and destruction, or ones that show people caring for and helping one another? Will our music players play music that honors God or glorifies Satan? Will we use the cell phone to send a text message with an encouraging word, or send messages spreading gossip about an unpopular classmate?
So many choices. And because we’re on Jesus’ team, every choice we make matters.
Answer the questions below after looking up the verses.
1. How can a young person live a clean life? Psalm 119:9
2. How should a Christian do everything? 1 Corinthians 10:31
3. What should Christians keep their minds on? Philippians 4:8
4. Where should you fix your attention? Romans 12:2
5. What do you need to decide today? Joshua 24:15
Read 1 Corinthians 10:31.
Review the memory text.
Whether you’re a techno-geek who always has to have the latest hardware and software, or whether you’re still trying to figure out how to program the DVR to record your favorite show, you can’t deny that technology affects your life. It’s changing our world. You have to make the choice—to use it wisely or foolishly.
A TV set, a DVD, an mp3 player, a cell phone, a computer—they’re all just tools. They’re no more “good“ or “bad“ in and of themselves than a hammer or a screwdriver. You can use a hammer to build a house for a homeless person. Or you can use it to beat somebody to death. Extreme examples? Sure. But the message is clear. Technology is a tool. We’re the ones with the brains. We’re also the ones created in God’s image, the ones to whom He has given His Word as a guideline. We get to make the choice.
Don’t let technology rule your life. Take charge. Decide what you’ll use, and how. And then ask the Spirit to help you do it all to the glory of God.
Read Joshua 24:15.
What’s the piece of technology you use the most? Your computer? Your cell phone? Your iPod? Your DVD player?
Write a letter to that piece of technology, explaining that as the human being, you’re in control and you intend to be the boss. Explain that as a Christian you have certain choices to make, and lay down the law. For example, you might want to tell your DVD player that there are certain shows you just won’t be watching anymore. You’re the boss—make sure your technology knows it!