12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You | Tony Reinke
Tony Reinke is the senior writer for Desiring God. He’s written a large number of articles for Desiring God and has a beautiful way of analyzing content deeply and approachably. With this book he dives in deep to how our world has been changed in the last ten years starting with the release of the iPhone. Never before has a technology so quickly changed our lives.
Today, when we think about how connected we are to our phones and how old the Bible sometimes seems to be, we can be tempted to think that the Bible doesn’t say anything about how we should interact with our phones. Tony spends this book showing us just how wrong we would be to think that thought. In this book Tony unpacks 12 ways that our phones have changed us and what the Bible has to say about it.
Why This Book is Good
I am not my own. I am owned by my Lord. I have been bought with a price… And that leads to my point: I do not have “time to kill” -- I have time to redeem.
As Tony begins to dive into this book he writes about problems that have faced mankind since the dawn of time. He points out that there is nothing new under the sun, the issues that face us today have always faced us.
Our phones have the power to amplify our addictions to distractions and sins, which in turn causes us to lose track of time. Our phones can cause us to get wrapped up in a technological world (missing what’s going on in the here and now); filling us with anger at what we see behind the pixels. Our phones scratch our itch for instant approval and fear of not wanting to miss out. They undermine our reading comprehension and make it harder for us to find and identify the true meaning of this world. With our phones, we also find ourselves in a sea of new things to see and hear, and we can drown in the lure of our vices. Our phones also help us put on a fake identity and draw us to a place of loneliness.
To help combat that, Tony provides Biblical principles to help us fight off each one. If our phones distract us, God calls us to be silent and know that He is God. If the social media tries to draw us in to anger and useless debates, the Bible calls us to live in relationship with one another, to put others needs above our own. When we desire to have our needs met now and to not miss out, we know that God calls us to seek our joy and fulfillment in Him… On and on he goes, calling out sin and temptation while pointing to the Biblical solution that God designed long before we were born.
Why This Book is Good for Marriage
The easiest work in the world is to find fault ~ Spurgeon
The truths Reinke points to in this book have instant ramifications on our marriages. For instance, we often need to be reminded that making passive aggressive posts about our spouse’s failures is wrong. We need to be reminded that our job as godly spouses is to lift up and support our spouse. God did not command us to pick apart every little thing they do and tear them down, he commanded us to lift up and encourage.
This book points to so many pitfalls in our lives. As you read it you will begin to realize that some of your struggles in life and marriage are related to your phone use. Once identified you can work on the issue and begin taking steps to making yourself right with God and your spouse.
I found myself reading this and wanting to throw my phone away and dig in deep into the Word. Every chapter was written with such care and contemplation, that my mind kept playing the words back for days. This book is a winner for you and the health of your marriage.
How to Read it
Since you are reading a book titled 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You, I assume you are likely the type of reader who bravely welcomes self-critique. I applaud you for it.
Take your time. This book is deep. Read a chapter and spend some time reflecting on it. Highlight the sentences that stand out to you. Take stock of the negative points he makes and how they might be reflected in your own life. Discuss it with your spouse. Do they see any of the pitfalls in your life?
Think about the Biblical principles he lays out, are they a part of your life? If not, what do you need to change to become the person God wants you to be?
Actively evaluate yourself and how you need to grow into the person God has called you to be. Are you putting Him first? When you are actively striving to put God first and your spouse second, then you are living in a way that is worth celebrating!