Jesus With Cell Phones by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

Had smart phones been around in Jesus’ day, I think he wouldn’t have been too keen on them, especially if those spending time with him used them like people of today. This week I heard a speaker discussing how inconsiderate we are when it comes to our phone addiction, prompting me to wonder what Jesus would have done, had his disciples chosen their phones over him.

Picture, for instance, the Last Supper with the apostles reclining at the table when Peter gets buzzed (and no, not on wine, on his phone.) “Oops! Gotta take this one, Gentlemen. ‘Tis the fishing report for tomorrow.” Or how about when the paralyzed man was lowered through the roof so he could hear Jesus speak? “Horizon” network would have blown up as the crowd Instagrammed photos to their pals instead of focusing on Jesus forgiving the man’s sins.

Jesus was all about one-on-one relationships. Physical relationships. He touched people, no matter how homely or dirty or poor. He made them feel important. He heard their stories and never was too busy to make them know they mattered. He recognized that meaningful communication was/is more about body language than voice-tone or words, something that’s missing in this new age of technology.

How would he have reacted had his listeners held up their index finger as in “Just a minute” or “Hold that thought” while they accepted a buddy’s call, gossiping about nabbing the adulterous woman instead of hearing Jesus speak about eternal life? Would they have been so preoccupied with the latest weather forecast that they would have missed his Sermon on the Mount or his triumphant entry into Jerusalem or his disappearance from his grave? Today, predictably that would happen.

Texting while someone is talking is an offensive way to let the speaker know that what (s)he is saying isn’t important. Granted, there are exceptions, but far too often when we choose our cell phones over our company, we are just plain RUDE. Should we be incapable of dining with friends or family without our phones lying beside our dinner plate, we are rude. And spare me, please; placing our phones upside down on the table does not make us less guilty.

(But, nice try.)

When we put our guests on hold rather than put fellow texters on hold by refusing to immediately read their messages and make a response, we are rude. (Let’s save the “emergency” objection because emergencies are calls, not texts.) When we stand at the cashier’s counter fumbling for our credit card as we gripe about a neighbor’s dog while balancing our cellphone between our ear and shoulder, we are rude.

Granted, cell phones have their place and can be useful, but making them our idol and going through withdrawals without them, we have a problem. Christians, beware. If we are spending more time on non-critical issues with our phones rather than more significant, eternal issues, we need to deal with our addiction. In Deut. 6:6-9, God instructed his people that their communication with Him was what mattered most.

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 

If I didn’t know any better, I would think that in today’s world, that Scripture describes our time spent on cell phones…and not in God’s Word.

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