Time-taking Tablets (Second-sucking Screens…Distracting Devices…)

…making the best use of the time, ESV Ephesians 5:16

Summer is upon us, and with that comes the heightened fight with the kids over screen time. With school out, they feel weekend rules should apply all the time, hence more and more time for screens. Sure, let them be kids I say. However, out of curiosity, I decided to look at their Covenant Eyes report to see how much time was devoted to Hill Climb Racing, Netflix, Youtube, something C.A.T.S., etc. After doing the math (school’s out for me too you know…23 min, + 54 min, + 75 min, +14 min, + 8 min, + 67 min is quite a stretch without opening my calculator app) I realized they were on screens well over 3 hours each on any given day. What a colossal waste of time! Then, in the way only the Lord can do, I thought I would check my Covenant Eyes report just to show my kids how responsible I was and they weren’t. Ahem….I wasn’t much better…may have even been worse. Grr….

We know screens are not inherently sinful. I also fully believe in free time, down time, relaxed time–especially for kids. This post isn’t a slam on screens or parenting styles or anything like that. Instead, I’m simply kind of squirming under God’s gentle probing gaze. I don’t know how many years (or days or hours) I will have on this earth. God has graciously given me many things to manage (wife, kids, vocation, health, relationships–all the things I blog about each week). I generally feel I’m not getting everything done. Looking at the time spent on my screen generally convicts me that perhaps I’m not making the most of the time. Perhaps God has given me 24 hours each day, and I’m only using 20 of them wisely. Of course we should include time for rest and play, but is screen time rest or is it diversion from the things God has called us to?

The spiritual giants I admire mastered their use time. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Perhaps I (and you) are wasting some of them when we could redeem them for God’s kingdom. Redeeming an hour or so a day would be a huge step in our spiritual formation. I do highly recommend Covenant Eyes as a tool to help us check our screen time. Whatever you do, make the most of the time!

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