The longer I’ve wrestled with this problem in my own family, the more convinced I’ve become that the ultimate answer is not “no technology” or “more technology” but “more theology.” If we want a deep, lasting, and spiritual solution, we need to learn and teach deep, lasting, and spiritual truths. Sound digital theology is the answer to digital technology; the oldest truths are the best rebuttal to the newest challenges. More Trinity is more effective than more technology.
God Is Three-In-One
Seriously, the Trinity is the solution to technology? Partly, yes. The three persons of the Godhead enjoy perfect relationship with one another and seek to share that relationship with us, inviting us into that sacred community.
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit’s relationships with one another are characterized by love, trust, openness, and communication. Isn’t that the model for our relationships with our children, especially when it comes to technology? Isn’t that what we want to cultivate and emulate? The healthier the relationships we have with our children, the healthier relationships they will have with technology. Deeper relationships are more effective than more detailed rules.
Additionally, this three-in-oneness is not just a relationship to copy, but a relationship to be enjoyed. We are invited to enter into that communion, to live in that holy family. The more we do that, the more the Trinity will replace technology, or, at least, the more our communion with the Trinity will regulate technology so that our relationship to it is more balanced and beneficial.
God Is Good
Sometimes we can view technology with such terror that we give the impression that it’s all “of the devil.” No, technology is a wonderful gift from God. We are blessed to live in such times and benefit so much from the role of technology in our daily lives. How many lives have been saved by cell phones? How many separated families have been kept together by Skype and FaceTime? How many sermons and lectures have been spread around the world by Christian ministries such as Ligonier? The devil didn’t create and invent technology. God did, as the giver of every good and perfect gift.
Sure, the devil abuses the gift. Sure, we pervert it into sinful uses. But none of that changes the fact that God created the materials, the forces, and the brains that have produced so much beneficial technology. The more we recognize that technology is a gift from God, the more we will abhor taking His gift and using it against Him, the more we will take this gift and use it as He intends.
God Is All-Knowing
Our parents or spouses can’t see everything or be everywhere. Accountability software can be circumvented and our accountability partners duped. But we can’t escape, circumvent, or dupe the all-seeing eye of God. He sees everything: every place, every second, every screen, every click, every tap. He has a daily report of all the sites we visit, all the messages we send, all the Instagram accounts we follow. If we really knew that He knows, what a difference that would make. The more we can remind ourselves of God’s omnipresence and omniscience, the more we will seek to use technology in ways that give Him pleasure, not in ways that provoke His wrath. Yes, our technology use can please God. He delights to see truth instead of falsehood on Facebook, to hear truth streaming across the world, and to witness our online witness to unbelievers.
God Is Judge
God’s knowledge of us is not being filed away in some dusty cabinet or distant server that will one day be lost or wiped. No, as Judge He will one day call us to account not just for every idle word but for every idle and idol click, for every second spent in pointless time-wasting. We may silence our internal judge, our conscience; we may outsmart our earthly judges, our parents, and our accountability partners; but we will never escape the judgment of God. Certainly, God’s grace in Christ covers every sin; no true believer in Jesus will ever fall away from Him, and His righteousness imputed to us secures heaven for us. Nevertheless, we know that on that final day, God will weigh the works of Christians. We will stand before the great Judge, who we will face not as our Condemner but as our Evaluator who will judge what we have done and will grant His people lesser and greater rewards according to their obedience. Let His discerning judgment help you make discerning judgments in your use of technology.