Use Whatever You Have
By Fred Knopper
When was the last time you received a personal, handwritten letter? Your answer is an example, not only of how technology changes around us, but also how it changes us and our behavior—the way we do things. These days, rather than checking the mailbox on the street, you click the mailbox icon on your laptop, digital tablet or mobile phone.
"My mother used the technology available to her: paper, ballpoint pens and postage stamps."
The picture in my mind is as clear as the day I clicked the shutter on my mental camera. It’s the image of my mother sitting at the small desk in her office writing a letter. It’s been several years since that “picture” was taken but letter writing was her ministry. She was a spiritual mentor—personally involved in the lives of numerous individuals, witnessing, encouraging, reminding them of the end goa —the Second Coming and the importance of “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2, NKJV).
My mother used the technology available to her: paper, ballpoint pens and postage stamps. She never typed on a computer keyboard, never talked on an iPhone nor touched an iPad. Her influence, however, was communicated using the technology at hand.
The Bible tells us simply, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Eccl. 9:10). That message is a declaration of good stewardship. It’s also an instruction on how to share the gospel with others. We are to use whatever is at hand—whatever current technology is available.
"Steve Jobs is known to have remarked that as brilliant as Apple products are, they all eventually end up in landfills. That’s an appropriate description of today’s technology. Here today—replaced tomorrow."
James White was a pioneer in using printing, the technology of his day, for sharing the gospel. H.M.S. Richards, Sr. was a pioneer in using radio to reach lost souls. George Vandeman used television to bring his preaching into people’s living rooms. Mark Finley was a pioneer among those who use satellite technology for spreading the Word around the world. Each is an example of the stewardship of technology— using the latest means for God’s glory. Steve Jobs is known to have remarked that as brilliant as Apple products are, they all eventually end up in landfills. That’s an appropriate description of today’s technology. Here today—replaced tomorrow. As new gadgets and electronics are created, accelerating the speed of communication, they are never-the-less all created to be temporary and disposable (hopefully recycled). As soon as we acquire the latest technological “in-thing” whether a digital device or an electronic gadget, its useful days are numbered. Houses and buildings last decades, even centuries, cars last years, but electronic devices last only a matter of months before that technology is replaced with something smaller, faster, cheaper, more capable, efficient and effective.We don’t, however, need the latest technology to be an effective witness and good steward of technology. Just use what we have and use it to share our faith.
In the first chapter of Acts, Jesus tells his disciples, “…you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8). This commission is not dependent on technology even today.
While this world hastens to its climactic end, technology will continue to evolve, change and become more predominant. Can you imagine sending robots door-to-door to give Bible studies? Why not? Although communicating the gospel is not dependent on technology, we can and must utilize current technology to spread the gospel.
"It’s a way of saying my religion is important to me. The fact that I’m telling others I’m in church is one small way I share my faith."
As communication devices and electronic gadgets become more and more personal (what can you not do on an iPhone or iPad these days?), each one of us has the opportunity to use these “things” to the glory of God. Rather than just acquiring the latest gadget for personal gain, use or pleasure, make it a priority to use it for sharing your faith.
Stewardship is not only the idea that everything we have and are belongs to God. It also means that everything we use and everything we do should serve Him as well.
An acquaintance recently shared how when she attends church, she updates her Facebook status: “Amy is in church.” She remarked, “It’s a way of saying my religion is important to me. The fact that I’m telling others I’m in church is one small way I share my faith.”
Great idea! Simple and effective. Go and do something likewise.We can use the technological platforms that we are already using everyday anyway to share our faith and give God the glory.
My own Facebook status? God and Fred are friends.