6 Ways Smartphones Can Enhance Your Spiritual Life
- Sarah Coleman Author
- 2017 22 Feb
There's a knock at the door and you catch your breath. You open the door to a delivery man, sign the electronic scanner, and he hands over a box. Before he has taken two steps away from the door, you've already torn through the packaging to reveal a white matte-finished box with embossed logo. You carefully remove the casing and lid to behold in all its glory your latest gadget – a new smartphone.
The device will help you work smarter, play harder and, oh yeah, take phone calls. But who buys a smartphone just to make phone calls?
While smartphones may seem like a evil incarnate to some, they are useful devices not only for work, socializing, storing and creating memories, education, boredom busters and more; your smartphone and the apps you upload are spiritual tools to help you mature in faith and foster a vibrant relationship with God.
Don't believe me? Let me show you.
Before you read on, I would like to add a disclaimer. I am 42. I am by no means as tech savvy as some, but understand a smartphone is a tool to use wisely. It is not a liability in my life, but a strategy I use to propel me forward.
1. Turn down social Media.
Social media has changed our lives in the past 10 years - for the better and worse. Social media can be all consuming and even take god-like status in your life if you let it. So set boundaries. For example, turn off notifications from social media. Have set times when you will use social media and times when you unplug.
There are definite benefits from limiting social media usage, but my encouragement is don't switch off without a purpose. My church fasts social media for the month of January each year but it has purpose. We unplug from social media so we can tune in to the voice of God. Social media has many benefits, but things go astray when the voice of social media dominates our life. Be sure to keep the voice of God as the loudest voice.
2. Listen to podcasts.
I believe any professing Christian is a leader, and as leaders we have an obligation to grow and develop leadership capability. What better way to do this than podcasts. Podcasts give us the opportunity to be mentored by experts. Whether you are in full time paid ministry or your ministry is in the secular workplace, podcasts offer the opportunity to grow in Christ-like leadership skills. On many smartphones, the podcast app is preinstalled. So find a handful of podcasts you enjoy. (your favourite author, preacher, or church has one) subscribe, and listen regularly.
3. Start a Bible reading plan.
For as long as I can remember, I have read a chapter from the Bible every night before I go to sleep. It is such a lifestyle for me that my day feels incomplete without it.
You may not have developed such an ingrained habit, or perhaps, like me, there are times when you are lost for what portion of Scripture to read. That's where a great Bible reading plan comes in. And with a Bible app on your phone it becomes easier. There are a heap of Bible apps to choose from but my favourite is YouVersion. Once you create an account, you just pick a Bible reading plan, set up an automatic reminder, and viola, you are on your way to a daily Bible reading habit.
4. Pray more.
Oh, I know you're thinking, “Wouldn't a smartphone hinder you from praying?” In fact, it has the capacity to do just the opposite. Introducing PrayerMate. PrayerMate is a free app that lets you enter prayer points into your phone and set a reminder for when you would like to pray each day. You can even sort prayer points into categories and assign how often you would like to pray for that request if you wish. Have I prayed more since installing the app? I think I have.
5. Read more nonfiction.
You arrive early for a medical appointment, plonk down in the reception area, and wait for your name to be called. "I've got a few minutes," you think, "so I'll just jump on Facebook."
Well, at least that's what I used to do. But then those few moments turned into minutes of time wasted sticking my nose into other people's business. Invariably, I would then feel guilty for my poor use of time.
I realized there is a better way.
Nowadays, when I find myself waiting in line or for an appointment, rather than update my status, I read the Bible or a nonfiction book on my phone. Last year I was able to double the amount of books I read by employing this strategy. Through regular reading, I was challenged in my relationship with God and others, grew as a person, and felt empowered by my use of time as opposed to drained by Insta-envy.
If you have never read a book on your smartphone before, give it a try. You may never read paperback again!
6. Find encouragement through the Crosswalk app.
It goes without saying really, but instead of checking the daily news, discover encouragement and revelation from the Word of God on Crosswalk. You can't go wrong.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: February 22, 2017