I attempt, often unsuccessfully, to run a pretty tight domestic ship. I’m not opposed to electronics, but laziness makes me crabby. I’m thrilled family members feel so included socially that they “need” to spend time keeping in touch with their friends. I’m not thrilled when their social interaction keeps them from chores or just being thoughtful. I would prefer my family notice what needs attention and do it instead of me harassing them to get off Snapchat, Instagram, Xbox, or Netflix to do it.
Sometimes I sense the devotions and prayers we do as a family each night are an interruption from what family members really want to do. I long for my family to yearn for God far and above phones and tablets and computers. I want our love for God to outweigh our hope for a high score in the latest game or an instant notification from a friend. I want the way we spend our time, money, and energy to reflect that love. I want us to live the First Commandment to fear, love, and trust God over and above all things.
When comparing and contrasting God with our pastimes, it’s easy to see which one should take first place. God has perfect wisdom. He is poised and ready to help us through the struggles. Online entertainment, social media, and games mostly offer worldly philosophies. They spur discontent. Someone else is always doing more, has more, and looks better.
So why do we so readily whittle our time away unproductively instead of building our character with time in the Word, praying for change, and using our hands and feet to bring the Word to others in word and deed?
We do because we forget the tactics of the enemy. Satan masterfully wars for souls. If he can’t make us fall, he’ll make us unproductive. If he can’t steal our souls, he’ll steal our time. If he can’t make us despair, at least he can keep us distracted.
I wonder if we could give five minutes to Jesus before getting on the tablet, TV, phone, or computer. What if those five minutes in the Word changed our priorities? What if we spent another five minutes praying? And what if our time in prayer reminded us of other priorities more worthy of our time?
The evil army has always produced plenty of ways to trap people into empty and thoughtless living and a contentment with a mediocre knowledge of God. Somehow, someway, I hope we recognize it as an attempt to derail us and keep us from the fruitful lives we could have.
God is fully committed to you. Wouldn’t it be great to be a people equally dedicated to him?
By spending five minutes with Jesus every day, you may find that you want to spend even more time learning about God’s promises for you.
Amber Albee Swenson is a writer, speaker, and blogger. Her husband and four children keep life exciting and give her lots to write and pray about. Mother, wife, and author are treasured positions, but child of God is her identity.
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