Jan 26 2010

Screen Life

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” And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Colossians 3:14-17

Today this verse brought conviction.

To do something in someone’s name is to have the authority of that person for action, but also to act on their behalf–actions that they themselves would do.  “Do everything” is quite explicit–everything I do each day, how I spend my time, is to be done with both a sense of Christ’s authority and on Christ’s behalf.

The still small voice has been gently suggesting over the past year for me to consider how much time I give to screen living–internet, social networking, and Hollywood media.

As I sought God for help discerning whether I am hearing his voice or my own driven perfectionism, the phrase came to mind: Guilt is a bad motivator for change, but a feeling of conviction is a good reason for repentance and prayer. The first puts all the power of change on me, the second puts me in partnership with God. It has helped to take my feeling of conviction to God and pray, rather than embark in my own strength on “10-steps-to-a-new-and-improved-Susan.”

I do not begrudge small doses of  quality entertainment (I have enjoyed excellent series like “Cranford” and “Emma”), but I can see that in my life, it can seep in through the cracks  of loneliness and promise a false sense of connection. And then an hour or hours later, what was gained?

Instead, God whispers:  Come to me, Susan.  Write, sing, pray, call a friend, send a letter, take a walk, take some photos, have a party.

Does this mean I give up all screen life?  No.  But it does mean that I want to prayerfully consider, with God’s help, alternatives and have them at the ready.

Romans 12:1 comes to mind.  “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.”

God, I give you my time in front of any screen. Help me prune it so that it becomes life-giving and honors your Name.

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