There are many things in life that are truly amoral. Being neither good nor bad. It is up to us to determine whether they play a positive or negative role in our lives. Take electricity for example. Electricity powers our appliances and other modern conveniences—which is a good thing. But, if not respected, it can kill us.

One of those conveniences that also has the power to kill our time, our relationships, and more are our screens.

I recently heard a sermon from Pastor Craig Groeshel of Life Church in Oklahoma City who shared some staggering statistics on the amount of screen time various age groups spend per day on their screens, and it was truly shocking. The overall average screen time per day for Americans, according to comparitech.com is seven hours—that’s nearly half of our waking hours!

Now, that’s not to say all of that time is wasted; in fact some of it is likely saving time in other areas or enhancing relationships, i.e. paying bills online, video-chatting with loved ones, listening to a sermon or an encouraging podcast, looking up DIY tips, etc. However, as with electricity, if not respected and controlled our screen time can knock us out of phase, negatively effecting or even killing our relationships, not only with those closest to us, but with God.

I’ve heard it said technology keeps those far away close and those close far away. How many times do we find ourselves in the company of others and, instead of visiting with those a few feet away, we retreat into our phones? I am guilty of this. There are days, when I have been “too busy” to crack open my Bible, only to realize that I have spent time scrolling. If this becomes habitual it can knock our relationships increasingly out of phase.

The more I have considered the subject matter of this blog, the more I am aware of all the times personally and culturally that we are guilty of this. How do we fight it? It starts with simply becoming aware of the urge to pick up our phone and choosing instead to pick up our Bible, or ask the person next to us how their day is—and genuinely mean it!

As with the previous out of phase blogs, our screen time can creep in so subtly that, because it is such a cultural norm, if we are not careful it can indeed pull us far away from those closest to us.

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