We are adept at compartmentalizing our lives. We have a work face and a home face. We act one way with close friends and another way toward clerks in stores or servers in restaurants. Our children know us in ways our coworkers do not, and vice versa. Christians are not immune to compartmentalization. We too can have a work face, a home face, and a separate church face. We can act, speak, and respond one way when stuck in traffic and a completely different way when stuck in church.
Technology is also great for compartmentalizing, at creating discrete little boxes to contain things. We have our work e-mail box and our social network box. We have the who we are in our online box and the who we are in our off-line box. When we interact with different devices, we can physically enter into a sort of box-like zone. Have you ever watched your kid playing a video game, interrupt your spouse while online, or been interrupted yourself? Technology use can create a distinct “space” around us, one in which we feel in charge, in control, and thoroughly enthralled. We erect signs that say “Don’t bother me” or, worse, “You can’t see me.”
Because we are able to live our lives in separate little compartments, it’s tempting to think that God sees or cares about how we act in only some of those boxes. It can be easy to delude ourselves into believing we get to choose which boxes are secret and which ones are accountable to God. That is not, however, the truth.
Proverbs 5:21 says, “For a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all his paths.” Paths, boxes, zones, spaces, compartments – they’re all words pointing to the same personal choices. And through all of them, God sees and examines what you and I do with technology. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13).
Simply put, we are accountable.
The above is excerpted from chapter 12 in #Hooked: The Pitfalls of Media, Technology, and Social Networking by Dr. Gregory Jantz.