Thursday, August 4, 2016

Mastered - Martin Wiles

Even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. I Corinthians 6:12 NLT

Could it be possible that technological devices drain the brain?

I, along with other teachers and administrators, sat through a two day conference. One of the key note speakers was an international speaker who had written two books on the subject of addiction to smart phones and other connected devices. The statistics pummeled us to the edge of our seats and were, to say the least, disturbing. 

Gaming, notifications, likes, views. All terms I was familiar with. What I wasn’t familiar with was what happens when any of those things happen. A chemical called dopamine that stimulates the pleasure part of my brain is released. When my brain is flooded with large doses—which happens when overuse of tech devices takes place, addiction occurs. The same type a cocaine addict experiences. 

Cutting was another term I was vaguely familiar with. When the tolerance wall has risen so high that the dopamine can no longer provide the pleasure it once did, addicts often resort to cutting. This releases a different type of chemicals—endorphins, but ones that provide a pleasurable feeling nevertheless.

The percentage of young children and teens—along with adults, who are addicted to smart phones and other connected devices is alarming. In Paul’s day it wasn’t tech devices but a way of thinking. Some were legalists and consumed with the “can’t do’s.” Others were libertines and thought they could do anything now that God’s grace had liberated them. Paul didn’t disagree with the freedom thinkers but proposed that he’d not be mastered by anything. 

Being mastered is dangerous. The only thing that should master believers is the desire and firm commitment to allow God to mold us into the image of His Son—a process that is often painful and lengthy, but one that is essential for successful Christian living. 

Obedience to what Jesus considered the two greatest commands allows this to happen. Loving God with our total being should become the pursuit that masters us daily. Doing so changes our actions, attitudes, and outlook on life. Combined with this is loving our neighbor as ourselves. This, too, will change how we act toward and react to others. 

Spend more time demonstrating your love for God and others than you do on tech devices.

Prayer: Father, prick our hearts and minds so we have a desire to serve You and others with our entire spirits, souls, and mind. 

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