Saturday, January 5, 2013

I want to be cool

I have always wanted an iPhone ever since 4 year ago (2009).  Early that year it seemed that all of my friends had one, which they admired. I mean, why wouldn’t you want one? With this gadget, you can call, text, check emails, go on facebook and twitter, check your bank account, play games, listen to music, and download some cool apps that would change my life – the perfect phone! Plus the fact that having an iPhone would make me look 1,000 times cooler. Later that year on my birthday, I decided to give myself a gift…yes a brand new iPhone 4. This was the latest thing! All my friends had either the iPhone 3 or 3S. I would be the coolest cat in the block! I was able to download my favorite music on the spot, play cool games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja whilst waiting on the train to work, check my emails on the go and reply straight away, post stuff on facebook and share things to people anytime I wanted to; I was on this thing for most of the day, it was great!

After months of giving it my full attention, it hit me like a ton of bricks; I realized that it’s really not that great. That it was an artificial happiness. That it was compromising the one thing that mattered the most, my family time.

I remember my wife kept telling me (felt like nagging, but don’t tell her that) “You spend too much time on that thing, its not good. You have to spend more time with us”. And I remember always replying with “But I just need to send this email, or send this text, or post this on facebook”, or even to a point of desperation I say “But this is cool, I can download some games for the kids to play”.

You see my friends; this is what happens when we get obsessed with the things of this world. We make excuses. In the bible it says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world” (Rom 12:2, NIV). The world will always tell us that this product is great, that you need this, that without this you will suffer, that this shiny thing is the best thing in the world, that this will make you really pretty and popular, that you will not be cool without it. In Colossians 3:2 it tells us to “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

It reminds me of the movie, The Matrix. When Neo chose to learn more about what the Matrix truly is. It is an artificial world created by robots where humans are used as slaves. When I was young, I was naïve. The older I get, the more I realize that what this world has to offer is not what I truly want. Yes I did upgrade to a newer iPhone 5 recently, but it is really nothing special but a toy created by men who do a great job in making other people realize that they need to buy it. The difference nowadays is that I am aware of this fact and that I have stopped making excuses to my wife about why I need it. The fact of the matter is, I don’t need it. I am not a slave to it anymore. I focus more on God’s promise: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt 6:33, ESV).

Focus Question:
Are you living by the standards of this world? Or by God’s standards?

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