An idol is a visible object created by man that receives our worship.
Worship comes from two words: the word worth and the suffix -ship.
The definition of worth is “the value of something measured by its qualities or by the esteem in which it is held” (merriam-webster.com/dictionary). The more esteem we give to something, the more value it has—which determines its amount of worth.
-ship is a suffix that you place at the end of a word to denote condition. For example, the word friend, with the suffix -ship, becomes friendship. Friend is a general word; -ship makes it personal because it makes the word friend a condition, not just a word. Friendship is the word friend being applied on a personal level.
Now add the two words worth and -ship together, and you get worth-ship, or worship. The definition of worship is “to be devoted to, full of admiration for, and to have or express feelings of profound adoration for a person or object” (dictionary.com).
When we put it all together, worship is the declaration of how much we value, admire, and are devoted to someone or something. Whatever we place a high value on, admire, and are devoted to is what we worship.
In today’s world, Mobile Devices have become an idol.
We place a high value on our Mobile Devices, they receive a level of our admiration (a showing that we love and care for something), and we are often quite devoted to them.
We often allow ourselves to be constantly looking at and checking them, let them to take up a good amount of our time and energy, and we show a level of devotion to them by the way we treat them.
Value + Admiration + Devotion = Worship
Ever been in a conversation with someone and your phone indicates that a message of some kind has come through, and your first reaction is to check it rather than continue listening to the person you are talking to?
Ever totally miss what someone says because you never looked up from your device or stopped reading things on your device, so you never heard them?
Ever been sitting around and you just have to check your device because you don’t want to miss something?
Ever get upset when your device is not working properly or it is taken away from you for misusing it?
Ever feel anxious when the battery on your device is low, and you can think of little else than charging it?
Ever feel like you can’t live or do what you want without having your mobile device with you?
Mobile Devices have become an idol.
Exodus 20:3-5 – “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image…you shall not bow down to them or serve them…”
Honestly, it’s very easy to allow our Mobile Devices to become our idols. They are fun, they are cool, they make us feel more connected (often though it is an incomplete connection), and they occupy our time. But we must be careful that we use our Mobile Devices the correct way so that we do not allow them to become idols in our lives.
So how do we do that?
Set boundaries. Don’t allow yourself to always be on it…learn to put it away or shut it off. Set it down and walk away for a while. Turn it off if you have to. Life will go on just fine if you aren’t on it for a while. Parents, create boundaries for your kids and hold to them (even if they get mad at you, you have to teach them the importance of boundaries).
Connect more in person. There is nothing wrong with connecting through a mobile device, until it becomes your main source of connecting. We should make sure that we are connecting with people in person as much as we can, so that our mobile devices are not the major way we connect. Parents, you should make sure your kids don’t live through their mobile devices…help them connect with people in person.
Set up accountability. It’s easy to hide what we say and do on our mobile devices from others. If you don’t want others to see what you’ve said or looked on on your mobile device, that is not good. This is what makes things like ‘snapchat’ very dangerous, it leaves no trail. Parents, you should know what your kids are doing on their mobile devices.
*Note: Parents, everything I said you should do for your kids to help them use their mobile devices properly, you should also do yourself. In fact, everyone should set up boundaries, have more in person connections, and set up a level of accountability.
Don’t allow your Mobile Device to become an idol.