A survey at the end of last year reported the average Canadian adult spends 4.4 hours daily on mobile apps. I’m not sure where I fit in that average (not sure I want to), but enough hours to realize a lot of people on a variety of platforms have something they want me to do or be. Some recommend an action while others seem to demand it; like one church that regularly uses the tagline, “Get here!”. Ugh.
Some of what we see as we scroll is of course helpful and encouraging and some of it, in increasing supply, is not. North America’s recent history has seen numerous examples of false truths moving people to take hurtful, unhelpful, and even dangerous actions. Considering all of the platform positions, platitudes, and pointers, exercising caution and good judgment before jumping aboard seems a good idea.
Admittedly picking one's way through all the posts calling for our attention can feel like walking through a veritable minefield with size 18 shoes. It’s because if not explicitly, then implicitly we are often warned of the consequences if we’re not on board and some of them are presented as dire. The nation may crumble, we might lose our say, our standing, our freedom, lose friends, get sick or we might even risk hell if we don't follow a particular way of thinking. Whether theological, political, or personal, the positions being promoted range from sensible to extreme. We have to be careful then about jumping on bandwagons that at the moment make us feel vindicated, righteous, powerful, or trendy without first exercising some serious scrutiny. What to do?
We lean into our fundamental belief in a God of love, grace and truth. A properly secured faith has been described as a house built on a solid rock able to withstand the pressure of waves and wind. It is from that strength we can ensure propositions we accept or endorse serve to build on the foundation of the house we call home. Does what we read or are being told meet a Kingdom threshold? Does it reflect love? Does it bring hope? Is it merciful? Does it hold respect and kindness? Is it something Jesus would wholeheartedly support?
The real challenge is making God’s voice louder than those we hear as we scroll through our devices. Jesus urges us to “Seek first His Kingdom.” Before we believe what someone else says or writes (including me), let’s first believe the Word; a letter of love, hope and guidance illuminated by the Holy Spirit. Whatever we’re reading or listening to will either stand or fall when subjected to the light of the Spirit who comes at our consistent, considered and prayerful request for wisdom and direction. To do otherwise is to give priority to the loud counsel of others, leaving the Text and the Spirit as distant advisors. That has never worked well for us.
But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness. It might not hurt to have those words of Jesus cut and pasted on our device’s opening page. The wise and loving heart of Jesus remains our finest filter.