Faithfulness in This Digital Age Is about Establishing Priorities

Faithfulness in This Digital Age Is about Establishing Priorities

Setting Priorities

It really comes down to a question of priority. We’re not going to put the digital Pandora back in its box. No one is going to be able to live in a computer-free or internet-free life. And even if that was possible at an individual level, that’s not what our neighbors are going to do. So we need to think more maturely and more wisely about that.

I think faithfulness in the digital age means prioritizing God’s word and prioritizing embodied relationship over these digital tools. These digital tools are helpful, but the degree to which they set the expectations and the rhythms of our day can be harmful.

One practical thing that I think we can all do is we can start the day with Scripture. We can choose maybe one day a week, or something a little more frequent, to back away from our apps and our social media accounts and pursue real relationship with somebody. Take somebody out to lunch.

Primarily, we need to be assembling together on the Lord’s Day in congregations because it’s those relationships and it’s that experience and that habitat that really fortifies our hearts. It reminds us who we are, it reminds us who our brothers and sisters in Christ are, and it fortifies us in our quest to live wisely in this age.

So I think those are some strategies, and it ultimately comes down to what’s captivating our heart. Are these tools captivating our hearts because of the promise of self-creation? Or are we really being captivated by the message of the gospel, which is that we don’t have to create ourselves, we don’t have to curate our own identity, but that the Lord tells us who we are, and that fills us with the grace and the love that we need to love other people as they are.

Samuel D. James is the author of Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age.

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