Technology: friend or foe?

Technology can be our friend, but it can also be our enemy. This is the fundamental debate about technology: is it good or is it bad? That’s hard to say, and is a deeper debate than our format allows (see below for a good article on this question). Whether or not you have thought about this issue before we all need to ask ourselves, “What role is technology playing in my life? How does technology effect my daily routines, school work, job, relationships, walk with God and time management? Technology has a vast array of implications for our lives, if this is true then we should look to the Bible to understand how we should interact with technology.

In Matthew 15: 11 we see that Jesus says that “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.” and 18, “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” Here we see that Jesus is calling attention to the deceitfulness of our hearts. This is important to remember in all aspects of our life, but lets venture into what it could mean for our interactions with technology:

Technology can be a friend. I think we can all see in our lives and throughout the course of history how technology has been a friend to us. Think about the printing press, we have all benefited from its introduction to our lives. Before the printing press if you wanted a copy of a book you had to write it down yourself – most people didn’t own pesronal Bibles. Now we can go to pretty much any book store and buy whatever we want and there is still a couple left over for others.

Technology can be a foe. Again same example, the printing press has been used for wrong just as much as it has been used for good in our society. Pornographic material is printed and distributed all over the world. Other books with objectionable material circulate the newsstands in Barnes and Noble and other book stores. Hundreds of people take advantage of the printing press to become rich to satisfy their greed.

Do you get it? Do you see what the pattern? It’s not the technology that is inherently bad, it’s us. Our sinful hearts can take advantage of something that was meant for good, and use it for evil. This shouldn’t be a surprise to us, because Jesus pointed it out two thousand years ago. Our hearts are idol factories.

Technology in and of itself isn’t bad, your iPhone isn’t evil. It’s your heart that turns something inherently neutral into something that is evil, or good. Those technologies present us with opportunities to prevert their use for evil. So what are you going to do? Are you going to continually put your heart into a situation that isn’t good for it? Have you thought about the consequence for that?

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.” Hebrews 3:12

The author points out that evil in our hearts will lead us away from the living God. Are you going to allow a piece of technology, that will be obsolete in a few years, hold you back from the eternal God? So, technology friend or foe? How would you answer?

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