Put Down Your Smartphone And “Be Still and Know That I Am God”
Have you ever felt agitated that your kids had the audacity to want your attention while you were CLEARLY trying to do something on your smart phone? You know, something pressing, like read a blog post or perfect an Instagram caption?
*Me: looking at the floor. looking at the wall. looking at the ceiling…
Have you ever felt a little too compulsive with your use of technology and social media? Perhaps it even begins to feel like a taskmaster in your life, to whom you bow?
*Me: painful, sheepish smile.
I don’t even understand myself sometimes! However, I’ve seen firsthand that if I’m not careful, I can become entangled in my online life to such a degree that I become deeply restless, unhappy, impatient, un-rested and unintentional.
This is a real issue in today’s world!
Of those of us who once thought we were above “being on our phones all the time,” many of us have been humbled. We now see we are, in fact, NOT above it.
Compulsive habits, lack of clear boundaries, and the consuming connectedness of our modern world, have a way of producing fruit in our lives we didn’t mean to bear. Have you ever noticed that?
When unchecked, these ways of living –ways of being, will change us. And in fact, they already are.
If we’re not careful, they may go so far as to leave our souls malnourished, and even hinder our relationship with God.
- Where once we enjoyed long periods of deep focus, thought and prayer as we read the Bible, we now settle for the decontextualized bits of scripture we see shared on Facebook
- Where once we engaged with a book for hours at a time, letting it settle into our lives, we now quickly skim perhaps 50 blog posts and news articles in the same timeframe.
- Where once we enjoyed periodic, deep, personal conversations, we now keep up with friends and family through their Instagram feed.
These things are not bad in and of themselves, but we must make sure we don’t lose the former in favor of the latter.
This summer I had the privilege of reading a book before it released (how cool is that?) called The Wired Soul: Finding Spiritual Balance in a Hyperconnected Age.
This book was both eye-opening and practically helpful.
In The Wired Soul, Tricia McCary Rhodes uses scientific brain research, the Bible, and some timely observations about society and life today to paint a picture of what this hyperconnected age can and will and has done to our souls.
She shows how we’ve trained our brains to jump from thing to thing, and in doing so, we’re losing our ability to be at peace, to focus, and to soak in what God is saying to us in a deeply transforming way.
That really hit home for me.
It opened my eyes to my own irritability and lack of enough boundaries with technology. Although I do have boundaries, this book helped me see that my soul is craving more space.
…more space to be about the things that really fill me up.
But what I really love is that The Wired Soul doesn’t stop there! Tricia actually spends most of the book teaching how we can retrain our brains to go deep again, for the benefit of our souls. In fact, after each chapter there are exercises to help us put each principle into practice immediately.
These were so helpful!
If you suspect the use of technology in your life is leaving your soul dry (I think many of us get to that place at some point), I highly recommend this read. I affirm it’s message. It’s a good fit for my audience –moms craving a simpler, deeper, richer life in Christ.
Moms who don’t want to miss it.
Tricia inspired me to set boundaries and create space in my life for depth, and I think she will do the same for you.
I believe this book will soothe your soul, as it has mine!
Interested? You can win a copy!
Tyndale House Publishers has generously agreed to give away two copies of The Wired Soul to Embracing a Simpler Life readers.
*This post has been sponsored by Tyndale House Publishers. All opinions are my own!
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I feel naked without my phone if I leave the house. I find myself checking it repeatedly. If you look around in restaurants it’s amazing to see how many people are looking at their phones instead of talking to each other!
I know. It makes me sad for where our society is heading. But then at other times, I’m the one on my phone. 🙁 It’s a real issue.
This book is definitely on my “to read” list. Hopefully my library has it.
It just came out in July, so they may not have it yet. But I know my library will usually order a book if they know there’s an interest! It’s really good!
My library is actually really good about getting new releases (thankfully). They’ve even ordered 2 recently that I’ve requested and they didn’t currently have!
That’s so awesome!
I know that there are times I fall into the hole of Facebook and Youtube and online games, and it means that we don’t get homeschool done or chores done and don’t have as much quality family time together. The times that I have taken breaks from media have been so beneficial for me and also my whole family! I need to do more of it!
Yes, there are times that I get so wrapped up into my phone that when my children come to me I lose my temper with them easily, like needing or wanting to have time with me is an inconvenience.This needs to change! Children are not an inconvenience, they are a blessing from the Lord! Thank you so much for your post-it really was an eye opener for me. Starting today, I think I need to make a few changes…God Bless!
Jennifer– I pray you have wisdom as you figure out how to set boundaries. I have had to revisit this topic many times, and I am the exact same way with losing my temper when my kiddos interrupt my browsing. It’s not good!
My soul needs this book!
I hate that I can loose so many hours to my phone! Sounds like this is a book for me.
I know. 🙁 Me too. It’s like the black hole of time. Deleting certain apps helped me a lot too.
My daughter was diagnosed with Autism just before Christmas, and I realised around the same time that I have used my phone to block the grief, to pull back from those who could support me, and to escape. Sometimes into research, sometimes into recording funny stuff my kids say, sometimes into texting friends. All good things on the surface, but none as healthy as running back to Daddy God for the wisdom, comfort and creativity I need on a daily basis.
What was an outlet and a valid way of staying in touch with the world as a SAHM, has become an addiction I now need to fix before it steals my kids childhood while I’m checking Facebook!
I am sorry to hear that Janna, but I also know God has your daughter in His hands. What a difficult thing to walk through. I’ve realized the same thing about myself too. I use my phone to escape, which for me means escaping the chaos or overstimulation of three children (or boredom sometimes). It takes such resolve and determination to keep my technology use in it’s place!
Looks like a book I need to read!
The most negative impact that technology has had on my life would be that I can’t seem to ever be without my smart phone for very long and it hinders my ability to spend quality time playing with my children. I would love to bring the bondage my phone has me in. Can’t wait to read this book!
I know what you mean exactly! It’s crazy how much power the thing can weld in our lives if we’re not diligent to limit it.
Sounds like a book we can all benefit from
I have what I call kitchen counter hours where my phone is not allowed to leave the kitchen counter. When I first started I didn’t think it would be so hard to be without my phone but those first few days where a huge wake up call to just how much I had relied on my phone. Now that it’s a habit, I find it so refreshing to not have my phone attached to me for most of the day!
I have noticed how distracted I have been by social media, so a month ago I closed my Instagram account and by the end of the week I will be closing my Facebook page (once I’m sure I have everybody’s contact info). All I’m keeping is Pinterest, because for some reason that one is easy for me to limit. Facebook and Instagram seem to suck me in and I struggle to moderate them. This book look fantastic!
This is a great post! I need this book in my life for sure. I am, what I consider to be, sort of anti technology. My husband on the other hand is on his phone constantly! However, I know I can spend too much time on Facebook!
Unfortunately, I know I slip into these habits more often than I’d like to admit. My Bible study group worked its way through Jen Hatmaker’s “7,” and my daughter is already asking when we can do another media fast week.
My phone takes up way too much of my time and I hate that I’m usually looking at the screen when my kids come sit by me. Although I try to put it down when they are nearby, I find it hard to do and I *hate* that I find it hard to do. It’s been even harder since I started blogging and can do almost 90% of my work via my
phone. I feel like I’m on the verge of an addiction and -if I’m honest- it scares me. I think I need this book. Thank you for sharing it.
Adding to my must read list!
I get so frustrated that putting down my phone is so hard. And yes, I’ve seen it gobble up my entire days… so sad.
I can answer yes to those questions too. 🙁 I added this book to my wishlist.
I think you would really like it Lisa!
When is that book to be published? Sounds like a necessary read!
It is officially out as of this week! I really enjoyed it!