A Better Life

If you’re like the average person in the world, you’re probably addicted to your phone.

If you’re like me, you probably hate how addicted you are to your phone, but you feel powerless and lazy to change it.

Smartphones are an incredible thing. Who would have ever thought that someday we would be able to have a mini computer, a good quality camera, games, and the ability to contact people all within one small device? It’s amazing, isn’t it?

But as amazing as smartphones are, they’re equally evil, if not more so.

They suck you in no matter what age you are. No matter how many times you watched someone else on their phone and said, “I’m never going to be like that!” you eventually find yourself mirroring exactly how they were with their phone.

The phones entrap you. They keep you from conversing with others, from spending quality time with loved ones, from reading a good book that you can hold in your hand and actually turn the pages on, from doing fun activities, and so on.

Phones are also a danger. While driving, people text, take phone calls, check Instagram and Facebook, and who knows what else. This causes serious accidents and people get hurt or die.
Also while walking where cars are driving by, people are looking down at their phones and nearly get hit. I’ve seen it so many times.

I realize, that for me personally, the majority of my time is spent on my phone. Whether I’m texting or mindlessly refreshing an app, I am always on it.

Why do I close an app and reopen it instantly even though I know nothing’s changed?

Why do I check the weather app a hundred times a day for no reason at all?

Why do I mindlessly scroll through my camera roll?

Why do I have to check for new blog posts while I’m watching a movie or doing something?

Why can’t I put my phone down?

The answer is simple, my friends.

1. Contentment – We think that if we are bored out of our minds that our phones will make us content. We’ll have fun with our phones. We’ll be entertained. We’ll read something interesting. But in all reality, it doesn’t make us content. It only makes us thirst for more and more and the more that happens, the further sucked in we become.

2. Identification – I think just about anyone who has a smartphone has social media, am I right? Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, whatever. Social media isn’t just so you can see what everyone else is up to. It’s not about the other person. It’s all about YOU. It’s about you liking a post, you commenting on a post first, you receiving a reply, you receiving likes and comments on your posts. You want people to react and to like what you have to say. In doing that – you are seeking acceptance and identification. You think that if all these people like what you’re saying, then you’re cool and are finding identification in them. You’re constantly checking to see if someone liked or commented on something you posted. When you get one – it’s not enough. You need more. If it’s just the one like or the one comment you get, you feel depressed. Like no one likes what you have to say. And so you move to another source in your phone to make you feel better.

3. Obsession – Ultimately, your phone grows into an unhealthy obsession that you can’t shake. All your contentment and pleasure is embedded in your phone. All your identification is in the social media. And so you have to be on your phone all day to be entertained or to feel accepted.

Now, I’m not saying that everyone is like this, but I think that this is true for a lot of people. It’s true for me. Is it true for you?

Let’s go through those three words again with a Godly perspective:

1. Contentment – We can only be perfectly content and satisfied through God. He is everything we need and yet we don’t run to Him, even knowing that. He can bring us ultimate joy, ultimate satisfaction, and make us feel loved and cherished.
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” 1 Timothy 6:6-7
Instead of running after our phones and the millions distractions in it, we should be running after God and righteousness. We should learn how to be content in Christ alone rather than in our phones.

2. Identification – We are identified in Christ alone. We are children of God. He calls us friend, sons, and daughters. We are loved, made pure, redeemed, forgiven, accepted – isn’t this what we want? We have it already! We don’t need to run to our phones for that!
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” 1 John 3:1

3. Obsession – We are not to be obsessed by anything in this world. We should only obsess over our Heavenly Father who has done wondrous things for us and whom we are called to serve.
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24

Friends, we can overcome our obsession and addiction to our phones.

My friends, Hershey, Cookie, and I all agreed that this summer we were going to use our phones less. We put all our distracting apps into a folder way on the last page so that they would be hidden from us. So far I am realizing that I’m happier without it. I’m only using my phone to text my friends and for music. I can not believe the change I see already! Without me mindlessly doing things on my phone, I am happier because I am doing more that is worth while!

When I first agreed to do this, I felt scared. Like I wouldn’t be able to do it. But Hershey said, “You’ve done it before.”
So I started to list things that I could do to keep myself busy this summer. And I realized just how much I can do NOW that I haven’t been doing ALL this time! When I’m bored – there ARE things I can do, but instead I choose to be on my phone! I’ve been wasting my life away wrapped up in a screen instead of reading a good book, doing a craft, cleaning, working out, and so on. I felt so disgusted with myself and my phone that I wanted to throw my phone. I feel like I haven’t been living my life. And that’s pretty sad.

Have you heard the song Chain Breaker by Zach Williams? There’s a line in it that says:
“We all run to things we know just ain’t right, when there’s a better life.”

For me, that’s mostly my phone. I’m running to my phone when there are so many better and worthwhile things I could be doing.

This summer, I am choosing a better life, or rather, I’m choosing LIFE! And I hope so very much that by the time summer comes to a close, I will be in a new habit and be able to resist my phone more and to choose to do other things instead. Because being on a phone all day isn’t living.

What about you? Are you addicted to your phone? Do you want freedom from this prison? All you have to do is make the first move and with the power of God in you, the rest will be done.

“If you need freedom or saving, He’s a prison shaking Savior. If you’ve got chains, He’s a chain breaker.”

~Jaclynn~

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Thoughts About the Future…

I’ve been thinking a lot about my future lately. As a 17 year-old, that’s only natural. I’ll be turning 18, graduating, and then what? Will I get a permit? Will I get a job? Will nothing change right away? Or will changes suddenly be thrust upon me?

To be honest, I’m scared. It’s scary to turn 18. After all, that’s when you’re considered an adult! You’ll start to take on more responsibilities and more will be expected of you.
Graduating? Oh, I’m super excited for that! No more school!!! *toots horn*

But…. Then what? With my brother’s wedding quickly approaching, I realize how fast time flies. He started dating his bride-to-be 2 years ago? What?! And didn’t he just get a job and his licence? Nope. That was years ago, but the memories are still so fresh in my mind, that it seems like just yesterday. And now he’s going to be a husband in just a month!

I think that’s partly what’s making me so scared. Seeing how quickly his life changed and wondering if it’s going to be that way for me. What if I do get married in a few years? That’s impossible for me to even comprehend. I don’t even know who my future husband is yet!

Where will I meet him; and how? Will it be love at first sight, or will it gradually grow?

And getting a job?! I admit, there is a part of me that’s anxious to get a job, but another part of me that’s completely terrified. I don’t do well under pressure and I’m a slow learner. I’m worried I’ll be a complete failure. But still, there’s this part of it that seems so fun! And who wouldn’t love to make some money on a regular basis, right?

The future is a scary thing. You don’t know what it holds for you. To us, the future is a blank page.

But here’s something I’m trying to focus on – God already knows what the future holds for me. He sees my whole life laid out before Him. And though my flesh is terrified, I need to work on changing that fear into trust. I need to trust that God has the perfect life planned out for me and know that He will never give me more than I can handle.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,” says The Lord, “Thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Are you afraid of the future? Does it seem to be coming too quickly for you, too?

I encourage you, do not be afraid. God’s got this all in His hands. In the meantime, you can pray about it. Pray for guidance on where you should work. Pray for your future husband daily. And, above all, pray for peace, strength, and wisdom to help you overcome your fear and to make wise choices when your future suddenly becomes your present. :)

~Jaclynn~

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