• Jill Jarrell Newsome

"Love Thy Neighbor As Thy Cell Phone"

Driving out of town last week I saw a sign on a church that read, "Love Thy Neighbor As Thy Cell Phone". I laughed but I kept thinking about it. When I was growing up I did not have anything "on" me that I would fear losing or leaving somewhere. When we got a call we had to be considerate of others wanting to use the phone. It was wonderful when we got a long cord that we could reach the phone into the dining room for privacy. Some people had a "children's telephone" (that is how it was listed in the phone book) but not us. After teaching all day my mom was probably thankful when we kept it busy. There was no call waiting and no voicemails so calls just did not get through. You could take the phone "off the hook" and not worry about anything. And there was no social media or email so they had to wait until they saw you or they could send snail mail! Sometimes I miss the simple life but I do appreciate the good parts of cell phones.

You can read your Bible on your smart phone. You can get daily scriptures and Podcasts. Cell phones have surely changed our lives. Just drive around town and watch all of the drivers looking down at their phones - instead of the road. Walk down the street and watch the people getting ready to walk over you because they are looking down at their phone. Go out to eat and watch couples and sometimes whole families where no one speaks because they are all on their phones. Cell phones can have too strong of a hold on our lives. We can be addicted to our phones. Some people check their email or Facebook every few minutes. Our phones can have an influence on us. If we forget it we feel incomplete. Exodus 20: 3, "You shall have no other gods before me." Are you treating your cell phone as an idol? You may not bow down and physically worship your phone but it may be a distraction from God because you are spending way too much time on it. Idols can come in other forms such as your home, hobbies, tv, work, pornography, drugs, alcohol, sex, your computer, food, shopping and many other things. We need to recognize the idols in our lives and push them out! God said, "You shall have no other gods before me." God says He's a jealous God. He wants our time and attention. Exodus 34: 14, "Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God."

Psalm 36: 7, " How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings." I think we begin putting our trust in our cell phones or in other idols. If you don't think so wait til you lose it. Wait until you cannot get to your idol. Or it is not working and you have to do without it 24 hours. While it is nice to know my girls can get in touch with me anytime and if they are traveling they can call for help, God has always helped me more than my cell phone. We must remember to put our trust in God. He is our protection!

God longs for you to know Him and to enjoy His constant presence and goodness. He wants you to live in His love. What are the idols in your path?


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