What Really Matters!
“I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return.” Philippians 1:9-10
We live in the most digitally connected culture of all time. We have access to more information and knowledge than at any other time in history. However, I am afraid that we spend more time with technology screens than with anyone else. Research tells us that the average American spends anywhere from 7 to 10 hours a day in front of a screen of some sort.
It seems as if there is no place in our lives that is void of a technological device. Our culture spends more time engaging with technology, social media, and entertainment than with each other.
In Philippians 1:9-10, Paul is admonishing us to grow “in knowledge and understanding” so that we will understand what matters. We all need to stop and ask ourselves what is most important to us. Is it all that important that we keep up with the latest on what is happening on social media or engage our children in conversation at dinner? Do we spend more time on Facebook and Twitter than we do in God’s Word?
Paul says above that the goal is “to understand what really matters, so that you can live pure and blameless lives.” I believe that most Christians desire to have this kind of life for themselves and their children. So, how do we go about putting some controls back in our lives in this technological age so that we can accomplish this goal?
To begin with, we must establish some hard and fast priorities for our families that cannot be compromised. Below are some examples of these type priorities:
Set aside time with your family each day to discuss the things of God - If we are going to grow in understanding, we must spend time in God’s Word each day ourselves and spend time discussing it with our children.
Set the priority that Sunday is the day you go to church - “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1 There is no better way to disconnect from this world and grow together in knowledge and understanding than to go to church as a family. Are you glad when it is church time or have we given the priority of that day away to things that really do not matter?
Set aside times and places where we do not use devices - A great way to focus on what matters and build relationships within the family is to have time and places where you put away devices. The dinner table is a great place to start as it is time where we can engage our families and has been shown by research to be an effective way to build a healthy family. Another great place to forbid devices is in the bedrooms of our houses. Children do not need unfettered access to the internet in an unprotected area. Another great place to forbid devices is in the car as you can have great conversations on the way to places with a captive audience.
God desires to enrich our lives with the things that matter! I pray that the truth of Philippians 1:9-10 will remind us to seek those things and not what this world offers!