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1 John 2:15-17, A New Commandment

Thursday, June 28

A Phone-Shaped Hole?

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.


Have you ever been asked... What would you not give up, even for 1 million dollars? Besides people, of course, one thing I would not give up for a million dollars is my phone. It's not that I'm addicted to screen time (my precious). But I've orchestrated my life so that all the important information and crucial errands are all stored on my phone. I pay my bills on my phone. I communicate with the people I love with my phone. My calendar is on my phone. My games and books are there. Photo memories of important events are there. I'm learning Spanish there. I can access my medical data there. I even order my groceries on my phone. (So, yeah, you get the point.) In short, I. Love. My. Phone.

But then there's 1 John telling me not to love the things of the world. It gets me thinking... have I replaced my love for God with the things of this world? The short answer is, probably yes. The long answer is more complicated. For me, many of the things I use my phone for are of the world and I could do without them. But some of the things connect me with my spiritual self, with the people I love, and with God. I meditate using my phone. My Bible is there. My music (which connects me with God in ways nothing else can) is there. So, while the phone itself is not an idol to be worshiped, it can be used as a tool to bring me closer to God.

Ultimately, the writer of 1 John is making the point that the things of the world will never satisfy the itch we feel for God. Only God can fill a God-shaped hole. So, while we live in the world, we don't need to fully surrender to the things of this world. The only one we need surrender to is God.

Narrative Lectionary Text: 1 John 2:15-17

Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.