Lent (which begins this Wednesday, Feb. 13) is a wonderful tradition of abstaining from something in your life that consumes your life so that you can instead reflect on the life of Christ. Many Christians will give up caffeine, chocolate, or any number of other vices (here's a great list) that they have held on to, but for those in the technology world, we have some suggestions for you.
The hope is not that you will pick up some good Jesus points along the way, but instead find yourself transformed by this process with a stronger faith in your life. Note that this is not just for any one group of people, but can be applied to all of our lives. Pastors, print this off for yourself and then share it with your congregation. Parents, make a family commitment and grow closer to your family members this year. Teens, find a faith that you can own this season.
1) Give Up Social Media
Every time you feel the urge to update your G+ page, check out a friend's Facebook profile or pictures, or send out a tweet, this is the perfect opportunity to take a moment and pray, read Scriptures, or reflect on the blessing and plans God has given you. Last year, we spent 121 pillion minutes on social media in the U.S. alone. Imagine if we could take just 1% of that and do something amazing for Christ.  Instead of posting a photo or Facebook stalking someone, go visit your Grandmother in the nursing home, write a thank you card to your volunteers, or reflect on God's Word in your life today.
2) All Recreational Screen Time
It may actually be impossible for most people to completely avoid being in front of a screen. We have homework papers to write, emails for businesses, and sermons to write for Sunday. But what if instead of spending 7 hours a day in front of a screen , we instead took 50% or more of that time (which we are probably just messing around anyways) to go do a community service project with our youth group, read the Bible and prayed, or counseled a family in need? 40 days times at least three and a half hours comes out to 140 hours of amazing Christian actions per person or time to get to know your children or parents better!
3) Give Up A Month of Apps and iTunes
Instead of spending $25 this Lent on apps, music, and movies, instead take your money to a more worthy cause like the local food bank or simply increase your tithing a little bit. Sure, $25 is not going to end world hunger alone and I will not offer up the cheesy, we can do it together (even though we CAN!), but instead show what you can do individually. Couple this with no Starbucks, trips to the mall, or fast food this month and you could honestly sponsor a Compassion child, buy a bag of food for a family in need in your community, or help a student go to camp this summer and hear the Gospel in a whole new way.
This season is for us to take our eyes off of ourselves and focus on the One who gave us life, share that light with others, and rely on Him a little more.
What tech sacrifice will you make this Lent?