(Update October 12th, 2021 – Just a few minor edits and updates.)
I recently got a new phone, and one of the apps I added helped with Bible reading. Added note: October 12th, 2021 – I no longer use the same app. It promotes many false teachers and false teachings, one like Enneagram Hidden Truth (Marcia Montenegro)
Part of the praise, related to the app showing you how consistently you read the Bible.
And another, I haven’t seen people talk about but it is tied to the previous statement. The sense of accomplishment.
One feature I liked is that you can highlight scriptures to reference easier. One feature I found out today that I do not like…you can get “awards” for highlighting so many scriptures.
Why do so many things have to be tied to our sense of self-accomplishment? I understand being accomplished and completing goals has a healthy and positive effect on our lives. This is why games can be addicting actually. Our brain receives positive chemicals when we achieve a new level, new item, higher status, reward, or trophy. Just like in real life.
But some people live and thrive on the sense of accomplishment. We find our worth from completion and success.
As a believer, this is a problem because it completely shifts our focus and what our true goals should be focused on.
(KJ) Hebrews 12:02, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Take this Bible app for example. On the surface, there may be an encouragement to read more scripture. On the marketable standpoint to get more users, this can entice users to use or do multiple things in the app, not for drawing closer to God but for the sense of accomplishment.
Deceivement is cloaked in something that appears holy and righteous.
Now, I’m not against the rewards or anything extra the app may give to users for being productive. (I AM against the app for other reasons, however.)
Why do we read scripture? Using this app, other apps, or an actual physical Bible. Is it because we feel like we have to? So we can scratch another markdown seeing how consistent we are.
“I’ve read the Bible so many times.”
“Yep, I uh, read three chapters a day.”
Same thing with prayer. People can easily gloat and boast about how much they do something.
It all goes from something we get to do to something we have to do or what we believe we have to do.
I wonder what it would be like if God felt like He “had” to make me. I was just something He checked off His list. If He felt like He was more accomplished simply by giving me some time to listen to me, to “look” like a good God.
He, of course, does not do this. He loves me and He made me in His image. He died on a cross as the atonement sacrifice to pay off my sins with His blood. All are cleansed for those who put their faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ through His righteousness being imputed to us.
Do I care about my relationship with Him?
Or am I making Him something to check off my list?
I think it is easy for us to fall into self-righteousness. Our success and our worth can be wrapped up in what others determine to be an accomplishment. In what the world wants us to view as an accomplishment.
(GWT) Colossians 3:01, “Since you were brought back to life with Christ, focus on the things that are above-where Christ holds the highest position.”
But what does God think about these things? Do they really matter?
For example, I’ll put myself on the spot, speaking about games. I am level 1618 in Candy Crush. Does God care about this? No. Is it reflecting Christ? Not really. (Update October 12th, 2021: It’s been a couple of years since I’ve played Candy Crush, now. It’s been a game I’ve let go of because of my competitive state and the addiction to wasting time.)
(NIV) Romans 8:06, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”
And praying to God while playing a game can easily get distracting. Not that you shouldn’t pray to God when you are doing something, it’s just He needs His own time too, and when we are not distracted. Do you like it when you try to talk and people are on their phones? Show the Creator of the universe a little respect.
But how do I view my level? I look at it as an accomplishment. The world does too.
But for God…it’s just something temporary. It’s meaningless. This is why we need to be focused on what really matters, and to have our hearts sincere.
(ESV) Psalm 141:08, “But my eyes are toward you, O GOD, my Lord; in You I seek refuge; leave me not defenseless!”
What are we focusing on?
Do we even know what/who is the enemy?
Monthly Scripture – (NIV) Galatians 6:17, “From now on, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.”
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