Do Not Be Anxious saying, “What Shall We…. Watch?”
Devotion Written By Josh Houser (Seeds Missionary)
Matthew 6:31-33 says, “31 Therefore do not be anxious saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’… 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Recently our pastor was preaching through a series called Morning, Noon, and Night. The series was about staying connected to God and not being too distracted by other things in life; namely our devices, TVs, and games. Here is the truth; I had found myself spending too much time on my phone and watching TV. In the mornings I would get up to read the Bible and pray, but I was often so distracted I would have to read the same chapter four times in a row just to understand it. I was tempted to be on my phone doing mindless things instead of connecting with God. I knew this was not good.
The pastor talked about his own journey to do a better job managing his devices and taking care of his soul. I was convicted and knew I needed to change. I felt like my phone was controlling my life and I did not like it. But here’s the crazy thing: after that sermon, I went home and made NO changes at all. In fact, it seemed like my worst week of distractions yet.
The second week of the series came, and our pastor shared about our absolute need for God, how He must be at the center of our lives in order to give meaning to every area of life. At the end of the service, I was even more convicted than the week before. As we left, I told my wife, “I can feel God’s hand heavy upon me and I need to make some life changes.” It reminded me of when David said “your hand was heavy upon me” (Psalm 32:4).
I had allowed myself to slip to a place where I wasn’t putting first-things-first. Matthew 6:33 says we should “seek first the kingdom of God,” but I was seeking other things first, like distractions and pleasure. It’s not wrong to play a game on my phone or check-up with friends on Facebook, but I had allowed those things to take first place and interfere with my relationship with God.
The next morning I confessed my sin to the Lord and guess what, I received His awesome forgiveness. He has helped me make some big life changes and I have LOVED it. I am doing a much better job of connecting with the Lord, not wanting to get on my phone, but enjoying time with Him. My days have been filled with more meaningful things and spending time with my family.
There are lots of sins that can get us tangled up and distracted in life. Sometimes, instead of confessing those sins, we hide them. Here is the thing, don’t hide your sin, because God already knows about it. Forgiveness is ready and waiting for you when you confess. After we confess, we can celebrate like David did, singing “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven and whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1).
1. What are some things that distract people from their relationship with God?
2. Many families struggle with setting boundaries with their devices, (yes, even parents sometimes). What is one step your family can take to help everyone make sure they are not letting devices distract them from God and from family time? Go ahead and brainstorm some ideas as a family.
Parents: Here are some suggestions if you need them: (a)No devices at the dinner table. (b)All devices put away (or turned off) by XPM. (c)Take social media apps off phones. (d)Set time limits on use (many phones have settings to help manage time spent on the phone and apps).
God, thank you so much for the many modern conveniences you’ve given us. The technology we have at our fingertips is truly amazing. Help us to use these devices wisely, in a way that draws us closer to you instead of pushing us away from you. Help us to listen to the prompting of your Holy Spirit to know when we are allowing technology to interfere with our relationship with you and with others. Give us the courage to make hard choices about how we use our time so that we can “seek first the kingdom of God.”
Find a board game or a card game and play it together as a family tonight.
Parents: Read this article from Family Life about how to keep children safe from video game addiction by avoiding a few common mistakes. (FamilyLife has a wide collection of articles on “media and entertainment” to help you win this battle in your home.)