rebelling against low expectations

How to Use Your Smartphone to the Glory of God


When the iPhone was introduced to American society in 2007, everyone fell head over heels for this shiny, new, flashing rectangle of limitless possibilities.

We dove right in. But who could comprehend how such a small piece of metal would change our lives as we knew it? I was only two years old then, and wouldn’t get a phone for many more years, though I am now as hooked as everyone else. But increasing statistics are showing what a threat these phones are to our health and happiness.

The sad truth is that I often text and check apps rather than play with my brothers, immerse myself in a book, or do something useful. How sad is it that our help and service have been robbed from our families, our communities, and the world in general because of the overuse of our phones?

According to the Pew Research Center, 97% of Americans have a phone. It is incredible that almost all of us are connected in some way and have easy access to all the information we could ever desire. And yet, I wouldn’t say that has made us more satisfied. I believe it has made us more envious, angry, and burdened with quite accurately, “the weight of the world.”

Even now as I write this, Florida is trying to ban children under 16 from getting social media without their parent’s consent. Vivek Murthy, a US surgeon general, says, “There are ample indicators that social media can also have a profound risk of harm to the mental health and wellbeing of children and adolescents.”

Clearly, social media, phones, and the internet have changed our world in immeasurable ways, and since they aren’t going away, how are we supposed to live as godly Rebelutionaries amidst an ever-changing digital culture?

Don’t Throw Your Phone Away!

If you are thinking this will be an article on ways you should limit your phone use, you are incorrect (I hear those sighs of relief!). There are many other helpful articles written on the subject. This article isn’t about throwing away your phone, never downloading an app, or not using it for a month, so don’t worry!

Instead, we’re going to look at what the Bible has to say about spending our time wisely. You can own a phone, and still use your time well and be present and focused.

If you are reading this article, I assume you are interested in how to serve your community and family better and are up for some challenges! I am right there with you!

What’s the Big Deal with Wisdom?

Proverbs tells us, “For wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her,” (Prov. 8:11).

Why is wisdom so sought after? Why did Solomon, when offered anything he wanted, ask for a “Discerning heart?” (1 Kings 3:9).

Because when we have a heart of wisdom, we glorify God, are positioned to enjoy an abundance of blessings, and are equipped to bless others so much better. We are stronger against temptations and able to interact and deal with others well. Wisdom is the path to joy, righteousness, and peace.

You can be super smart and still not be wise. There is nothing we can do to “earn wisdom,” it comes from God alone (Prov. 2:6).

So, the first step in navigating our relationships with our phones is to pray for wisdom and “Do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight,” (Prov. 3:5-6).

Don’t Waste Your Days Away

The Bible never mentions guidelines for your phone or the increasingly alarming dangers of social media. But in Psalm 90:12, we read, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

This verse means that we should not waste the days God has given us. We never know which one will be our last.

It’s easy to think of the future in far-away terms, but each day has meaning and purpose, and we would do well to look up from our screens and see the beauty and goodness of God all around us.

Instead of dumping our devices in the garbage, let’s use them wisely with awareness of the time we’ve been given and careful concern of how we steward that time.

Ask God to teach you how to number your days and use each of them for His glory.

Your Phone Has More Power Than You Realize

Your phone has incredible potential to be used for good. It also has incredible potential to be used for evil. You have the choice to be wise or unwise in how you use it. When you are unsure of what is best, remember that, “Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” (1 Cor 10:31).

When engaging with your phone, ask yourself, does it bring God glory? Does it lift others up? Is it beneficial for my heart and mind?

Every message you send, and every post you publish has weight and can be used for God’s glory, or to the devil’s delight, so ask these questions of yourself before you respond quickly in anger to someone online, or mindlessly scroll to pass the time.

“Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.” -Proverbs 10:31

Instead of indulging in the fleeting enjoyments of sin, ask the Lord for wisdom and strength to overflow in your life as you interact with others, online and in person. Pray for His help to use the technology at your disposal for good.

Fear Him Only

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” – Proverbs 9:10

The fear of letting others into our lives and struggles is a huge hindrance to our joy. We post pictures of us “living our best life,” when in reality, our hearts are at a breaking point. We worry about what others think of us and how they perceive us, so the image we present to the world is nothing but a façade.

But Jesus’ life and words were the very opposite of fake, which is why they seem so harsh to us. We aren’t used to the truth, but rather made-up versions of ourselves and everyone else.

There are not many people who could bear our sins and sick hearts and not turn away in disgust. And Jesus not only accepts us, but He is also continually in the process of sanctifying and making us more into His image.

Rather than letting the fear of man filter what you post and say online, filter everything through the fear of the Lord.

A People Free Indeed

We were not made to live as a legalistic, man-made-rule-enforcing people. The Pharisees had hundreds of laws which only made them proud and self-righteous. Their obsession with the rules made it so they could not behold the glory of the One standing right in front of them—Jesus.

The goal is not to be buried beneath the weight of regulations and rules about our phone usage, but instead, to be wise, humble, and to live to the glory of God. The goal is to be master of our phones, rather than mastered by them.

Daily seek to love and serve God and others, and intentionally use your phone as a means to accomplish that purpose.

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About the author

Summer Culver

is eighteen years old and is in a family of eleven amazing people. She is homeschooled and enjoys watercolor painting, spending time with her family and close friends, and being part of a wonderful church community. Summer loves writing articles for The Reb and hopes her articles bring comfort and encouragement and draw you closer to Christ.


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  • This is SO amazing, Summer! I pray that this truth would sink into the hearts of our generation! Thank you for sharing!

  • Wow! Thank you Summer for using your writing talents to share this. You covered this topic so well and without any judgement but purely through love and kindness. I am amazed that you’re 18 years old and are so well spoken; that gives me hope and a strive to do the same. I admire your heart for the Lord!

    • Hi Eliana! Wow, this brings a smile to my heart. Thank you for such a sweet comment. I pray that God will bless, encourage, and strengthen you today as you seek to glorify and honor Him!

  • Thank you so much for this beautiful article, and for speaking to this issue with so much grace and wisdom, Summer! It was very relatable and relevant for me.

  • Thank you, Summer! Recently I’ve been on my phone A LOT, and this has been one of God’s ways of telling me, “Stop!” And I guess I didn’t realized He was telling me to stop until now! Thank you!
    I really like the “Fear Him Only” section! God has given you an amazing writing skill!

    • Absolutely Lydia! I struggle with being on my phone way more than I should as well. I’m so glad this was an encouragement to you. This comment was such a blessing to me, thank you so much!

  • Wow. There’s so much wisdom in these words. I especially resonated with the point “Don’t Waste Your Days Away.”
    Thanks for writing and sharing this article, Summer!

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →