On average, the daily time spent consuming content is now six hours and 59 minutes. This includes your phone, TV, and other forms of digital media. That is 48 hours 53 minutes spent each week being fed someone else’s agenda, propaganda and often meaningless entertainment. Wild, isn’t it?
Here’s some more staggering truth. The average time spent at church is 1.5 hours each week. Comparatively speaking, time spent at church is significantly less than the time we invest on our screens. Interestingly, even the 1.5 hours at church is tiresome for many of us. We can easily be entertained and fed by cable news. We’d rather give hours each week to political ranting, and reshaping of our minds by Netflix, Disney Plus and Hulu than to be fed spiritually in corporate worship. But more so, we’ve neglected building our personal theology and apologetics. We’ve been brainwashed to think like the rest of the world and to be okay with it. We use excuses to camp in front of the tele. We’ve justified our lack of church going, lack of bible reading and lack of praying for the tele god. There’s always something more important than God. Time, we tell ourselves, is what we don’t have to give.
Did you know that the television and God have similar functions? While one if far greater than the other, they have a very distinctive quality that shares some similarity. The Television was designed to reach over a distance. Two remote points connecting. While the source remains remote, they connect through electronic transmission. God, does the same thing. He reaches us while at a distance, very present. He connects with us remotely (through the Holy Spirit). The source we know is all powerful and consuming. He reaches us through biblical, prayerful, worshipful moments that are often unexplainable.
Why is it that so many of us can excusably spend countless hours in front of an object no more powerful than we allow it to have than we do with the One that IS all powerful? How is it that we’ve convinced ourselves that the lifestyle we’ve adapted is okay and Christlike? I’d say it’s because of pride. Pride convinces us we do not need God. And when we start believing that, we take the time we’d use for prayer, worship, Bible reading and church community building and replace it with something that robs us our growth. We’ve given the tele god power and authority to shape how we think and live. We devout our time to it and neglect the person we claim is our one true God. The pride that we’ve welcomed into our lives pushes God away. We are left convinced we have complete control over our lives, when in truth, we’ve simply given the throne of kingship to an inanimate object.
So, my question to you is this. Who is your “God?” Be honest with yourself. Let me help you out if you don’t know quite how to answer that question. Think for a moment and breakdown your weeks into days and into hours. What do your days look like? What do you wake up to? What do you come home and do? What do you end your day doing? What consumes your weekends? Whatever that thing is, it’s your “God”. If it’s not God our heavenly father, then you have a “god(s)” not God. Now, we can make God our God for personal gain and not through humble serving, but that’s a blog for another time. I want to hammer on the “god(s)” we’ve created in our lives that we’ve comfortably replaced with our Heavenly Father. Can I tell you something you won’t like to hear? Calling yourself a Christian does not make you a Christian. Saying the sinner’s prayer, while is great, does not make you a Christian. Let’s be real, going to church does not make you a Christian. What makes you a Christian though, is your lifestyle. Your lifestyle that makes God your priority. Your lifestyle that strives to live in humility. Your lifestyle that refuses to live the same years over and over rather chooses character growth. Your lifestyle that filters what goes and in and goes out. Your lifestyle that while not perfect, strives for perfection in Christ.
Many of us have made politics, entertainment, work, life stressors and maybe even our family as our god. We idolize and prioritize these things and neglect the one that created us, that is our source and life. We’ve become Christians by name only. Some of us, we simply wear that we are Christian on our trendy oversized t-shirts and as our Instagram bio, when if our life lived was played before us, we’d come only to realize that we’ve created many gods in our lives and neglected the one we claim to serve and love. Pride rejects God. Humility submits to God.
We are no different that those that lived in Biblical times. It’s fair to say that humans have not changed. In the book of Daniel, the pride of man was it’s folly. We see that King Nebuchadnezzar and King Belshazzar both struggle to prioritize God. You’d think, the king following Nebuchadnezzar should have learned from the mistakes made before his reign, but he sure didn’t. Pride is easy to come by and hard to let go of. It requires submission on our part that is often not something we are willing give. Take a wack at reading Daniel 1-5. You’ll read how easily both kings fell into the trap of pride and allowed other gods to become their source of assurance and self-worth. The interesting part is, God warned them. He warns us too. We are often too stubborn and distracted by the tele god to hear and see His warnings.
My challenge to you is to turn off the distraction. Even if it’s for an hour. Turn it off, and sit to hear God’s voice. If you’ve replaced church going to get caught up on shows, finish your DYI projects or to complete your weekend to-do list, I challenge you to give God 1.5 hours and go to church. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not much out of your day, week or life that you are giving. Unfortunate we have to look at it in that light, but for what it’s worth, turn the tele god off, and turn to the true, God. Someday we will give account of what we did on our time spent on earth. What are you going to tell God?
How much time each day do you spend in front of the TV? How much time do you spend being filled by God’s word, in worship, prayer or church going? What do you need to give up in order to give God priority?