We’re pretty smug these days about our “apps” and smart phones and talking cars and portable libraries. We spend hours communicating with people all over the world. We brag about our ability to find information quickly and easily at the tip of our finger. We rely on our gadgets and devices to make our lives easier and more efficient and less stressful. But do they really deliver? Do they really improve our lives or just make them more complicated? A fine line sometimes…
I was reading through some posts and status updates on Facebook and it occurred to me that the real problems of life aren’t solved by apps and programs and software. The serious issues of our society aren’t resolved by gadgets and devices and machines. Real communication isn’t found in texting and tweeting. Solving problems and changing society and communicating with others is a matter of connecting hearts and minds and values. It’s about telling the truth and understanding other viewpoints and cherishing life. Everything else is just bells and whistles. How we connect and exchange ideas isn’t nearly as important as the fact that we do.
Another attitude found in our society is that new is automatically “better”, so old must be bad. Updates and upgrades are frequent topics of conversations and advertisements. People stand in long lines, overnight, to buy the latest version of their favorite device. Very few things are repaired anymore; they are simply replaced. We have learned to not only expect, but to embrace planned obsolescence.
The one thing we overlook in all of our enthusiasm for new and better and more exciting is that we are essentially the same old model. Human beings have not changed their basic natures or actions since creation. For all of our modern ways we still have the same feelings, desires, and problems as our most ancient ancestors. We just express them in different ways. So I think we should seek advice from the form of communication that has stood the test of time and was used by the people who set this ball in motion in the first place. Yes, I’m referring to the Bible.
I’m not sure why so many people think of the Bible as “old news” or say that while it is important historically, it doesn’t contain “advice relevant to our current society”. I spent some time in Proverbs this morning and found wisdom pertaining to politics, honesty, relationships, and beauty. Advice doesn’t get any more current than this:
Many curry favor with a ruler,
and everyone is a friend of a man who gives gifts.
A fool’s lips bring him strife,
and his mouth invites a beating.
Pride only breeds quarrels,
but wisdom is found in those who take advice.
Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.
So…while we all enjoy our gadgets and devices and modern conveniences, let’s remember that everything we really need is still found in the pages of a very old book.