The Gift of Technology
By Pete Helgren – BSF Software Developer
I smiled as the couple quietly bowed their heads in the restaurant. You don’t see folks pray before their meals very often these days. Then I noticed they weren’t praying: They were taking pictures of their meals with their mobile devices. Ah, the surprises that come with living in the 21st century! As a web developer at BSF Headquarters, I’m more immersed in the technical world than most. Spending my days and nights in the glow of electronic devices makes me think about how technology has crowded our lives.
What should we think of this technology explosion?
Is the news all bad?
Can technology be good?
Since Genesis, tools have been an integral part of humanity’s work. From tilling the soil (Genesis 4:2) to playing music (Genesis 4:22), God’s people use His creativity to develop and nurture a fallen world. Sometimes that creativity has pleasing results. Sometimes the results simply confirm our need for a Savior. Like all gifts and all tools, technology can either be redemptive or destructive. We see the destruction all around us. Let’s look instead at how we can use electronic tools and technology redemptively.
Technology can help us prioritize
Our 21st century lifestyles would be busy enough without technology interrupting our daily lives. Text messages and mobile apps clamor for our attention. E-mail and social media feeds crowd our days. But using technology wisely saves us time. A quick text of assurance can relieve anxiety. A quick traffic scan saves time on the road. Personal calendars streamline our meeting times.
Technology can also help us plan for the whitespace, the quiet time we need to slow down and listen for God’s still small voice. It’s that time when we put the wind, earthquakes and fires of the day behind us. Believe it or not, we humans need that quiet time. Our brains must sort through and make sense of the daily background noise. Use the tool of technology to help you plan for some quiet time with God.
Technology can collapse the distance between people
Our God is deeply relational. In the Bible, God often interacts directly with His people (Genesis 6:13; 17:1; Exodus 3:4). We know that an all-powerful God could easily solve the problem of sin at a distance. Instead, He chose to dwell with us.
God made us in His image – as personal, moral and spiritual beings. So, connecting with God and each other personally is part of what it means to be human.
Think of all the ways the Triune God could speak to us today. Daily tweets or a text message or two. And who wouldn’t love to have access to God’s Instagram account and the magnificence of Heaven? Instead, God chose to come to us in human form, and communicated that encounter to us through inspired human authors, for human good.
Embrace your God-given relational nature! Whenever you can, join with your brothers and sisters in Christ in a personal, face-to-face way. Text an invite to someone you haven’t been with in a while to join in study, prayer or encouraging conversation over coffee. Linger before or after class or your group meeting to connect. Check to see if a virtual group member lives in your area to put a physical presence on that virtual friendship you enjoy.
Use technology to schedule time to be without technology. Use impersonal electronic communication to meet personally, with someone you care about. The tools we use change us, but they shouldn’t define us. Our identity isn’t found on Facebook, it is found in Christ. So, use the tool of technology, a God-given gift, to conform to His likeness: Set aside time with our Father, seek out others personally to share Christ.
Like any tool, we can use technology for evil or for good. Remember that it IS a good gift from a good God who wants us to spend more time with Him and more quality time with each other, in person, building up the body of Christ. Yes, technology can get in the way. It can use up precious time and put distance between us when we really yearn to be together. But if we use technology wisely, we can grow close to God and to our brothers and sisters who share this love for God and love for His Word.
BSF Software Developer
Praise the Lord. Thank you for this reminder and insight.
Pete, thank you for the greatest reminder of who Christ is in my life. Instead of my phone alarm just reading “get ready”, its “get ready & pray”.
Thanks again, have a Merry Christmas and a bless New Year.
Love, a sis in His Service
Amen! Thank you for the reminder!
Thank you for your insight Pete. Thank God for His believers around the world and for our BSF members! Our BSF Group is so very encouraging as we share “face to face” interaction and sharing His Word. We are blessed to have our lecture available weekly. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Thanks Pete for your insight. I am very old school. Gradually making the change to get on board. Something it is fustrating. I am still learning and will not give up.
Thank you Pete for sharing your thoughts on how we can use technology wisely to build healthy relationship with God and our families.
Yes technology is good but it has it’s bad side too. I missed BSF last week because u had to attend a workshop but thanks to BSF website, I was able to catch up and participate fully this week without missing anything.
Just like we learnt in Sunday School, “B before b”; Bible before breakfast, I always turn off my phone at night and only turn it on after my morning devotion.
thank you for your technoology. And I encourage you to continue to improve to perfect it.
God bless you and your family
This was just one more message from the Lord to convict me of my overuse of technology. When the computer was fairly new my Line used to be the computer is your friend. Now it’s really become an intrusion and a substitute for relationships. Thank you for the validation.
Enlightening and encouraging article. We have the choice in how we we use technology.
I’ve been using CBSF mobile app to learn BSF for a while, hope that we can see the office app from BSF 🙂
Technology frustrateme.See ,the spacebar is notworkinghencewordsclumtogether!
After many years in an “in person” traditional class I’m riding the wave of the future with my on line class – and so very much enjoying it. It’s a fabulous option for many who would be unable to participate in BSF otherwise. THANK YOU to everyone on the technology team who have used their talents, time and energy to make this happen.
You have been blessed to be a blessing, Pete. May God encourage you with these many positive comments.
Yes indeed, To God be the Glory!
It’s spiritual bulk that isn’t edifelt in a weightroom. Or a quadillenth of a trace of hydrogen that olny sham can notice out of endless people. Jesus and His called subjects of The Father have a I. P. we have aways had one. Like my Aunt Hester or Uncle Mac’s seed. All praise be to the One God, that is able to keep me from falling, A:men.
Wycliffe Associates is using technology and groups of native speakers to translate Scripture into languages without a single verse of the Bible in the heart language. Lives are being transformed. The process is being accelerated using the MAST Program.
Thank you for your part in making it possible for me to continue my BSF lessons & lectures. I am 82 years old completely deaf in one ear and even with a hearing aide in my other ear, I still couldn’t hear well enough attending a BSF group. So now I can do so on my computer! Praise God! ?
Thank you for these encouraging words! I can testify that our Sovereign God can use technology to His GLORY when we know to give Him the glory! Countless times I have felt His prompting to email or text (both to family, close or distant friends.) He has shown me there are NO coincidences with Him when a reply back asks for prayers or gives cause for praise in their lives! My prayer is that I can be BOLD face to face for my Lord as well as on a keyboard!
Several fellows noted the difficulties they found in the migration from bsfinternational.org to mybsf.com this last Monday night. I had problems with this as well. Thought you’d want to know this.
Thanks for sharing that issue. We have had over 200,000 folks create new accounts at mybsf.org. Some of those folks had accounts at resources.bsfinternational.org and had to re-create their accounts at mybsf.org. We prayed over that challenge and in late August and through the entire month of September we had long days, nights and weekends as we helped people make the transition. Any new way of doing something can be a challenge and we had a brand new website that everyone, including us, had to adjust to. God is faithful and although we still have some issues they are all very manageable.
Feel free to take advantage of the chat support found on the website as well as use the technical support email. We are still here, ready to help!
Thank you most profoundly for reminding us of the use of technology thus goading us to use it to come close to the Lord. Stay blessed
I too want to Thank the Lord for this technology, I am in the Children’s program in Montreal. Our church has greatly benefited from
the studies that BSF has provided throughout the 17yrs it has been here. But I am most grateful for the ability to have this study available ,( through the expanded technology) to our shut ins and ones suffering from mobility issues.
It has been my pleasure to help others login and reap the blessings you have extended.
Thank you and thanking God for giving you gifts that you have shared with us.
Thank you for this article. Technology has expanded my horizons and BSF my connection with God my savior.
God gave us the gift of Technology primarily to serve Him and use it to make His will known to all and sundry. Thanks for the reminder to use it for good. We constantly need to be reminded.
May Gods name be glorified forever. I thank all of you working to make sure BSF is there for us.
Glory be to God for the wonderful work you are doing in the Kingdom making the word of God be studied in such a clear way.
Have powerful holidays.
Thanks Pete for this great article. Your work on the new website is spot on. I enjoy it so much. Also, thanks for your hard work keeping us connected through technology. It truly is a gift from God. We must use it wisely. ?
Thank you for such a beneficial article and wonderful reminder. I often wonder what our world is coming to because we are so attached to technology. I appreciate the positive spiritual ways to use technology!
Beloved in Christ, wow, we say Ebenezer! This far the Lord has helped us and is growing us in the knowledge of His Word. Out of the Water came something sweeter indeed. Our lives have been made easier through MyBSF.org. Thank you for a Sterling job.
Thank you, Pete, and all those who work with you to use technology to bring glory to God and mature His children! After two hip replacement surgeries late this past summer and early fall, I was physically unable to attend my BSF class in September and October. HOWEVER, with the opportunity to join an online discussion group, I have been able to share with and learn from women from all over the United States and other countries! What a blessing!!!
Thank you so much for incorporating all the new technologies. It helped me to listen notes and lecture online multiple times. God bless all of you who are behind all these. Above all it is so easy to use.
Thank you for all of the new and innovative technologies. I remind my ladies of all of the “goodies” available to them every week.
God bless and you have a very blessed Christmas.
…”The tools we use change us, but they shouldn’t define us. Our identity isn’t found on Facebook, it is found in Christ.”
Thank you Pete and the team for all your efforts to make the study even more exciting. Gbu all.
Thank you. I love to read their witnessing experience in facebook, this relieves me from my worries and comforts me. I enjoy bsf. Merry Christmas and blessed New Year to all.
Very profound insight on using technology to the glory of God.
Thank you all so much for the expansion of information received from BSF. It makes my day to receive a short meaningful note from Susie and then a link to the great blog posting. Remember that Jesus is the reason for the season; Merry Christmas you all!