Paul, in his first letter to Timothy says in the 15th verse of the 3rd chapter;
‘…if I delay, you may know how one ought to BEHAVE in the household of God, which is the church of the living God’.
There is a way to behave in Church, and one of the first and major things we must behave ourselves with is technology in general, and our mobile phones in particular. This starts from how we behave outside of the church which is why this blog is addressing not just church behavior but life behavior when it comes to your phone.
Thank you for stopping by here. I am writing this on a Sunday as I am bursting with inspiration and I wanted to ride that wave. My kids are playing, hubby is sleeping, week is all nicely planned out, and timing is right, so let’s write.
In church today, some sweet sister beside me was looking at her phone, only for it to start noisily disturbing us. I had assumed she wanted to write something down from the sermon, only for me to realize that she was checking out WhatsApp status and of course, when a video status came up, the sound was loud enough to disrupt us all. Embarrassed, she quickly silenced it and put her phone back in.
I actually recorded a YT video talking about Church behavior. Check it out here.
How many of us have been guilty? I know I have been. While I don’t mess around with my phone in church any more, writing this, the Holy spirit reminds me that it’s not just church, but other faith based gatherings, like conferences, cell meeting/house fellowship, and prayer meetings. I am guilty of, for example, checking my phone when in cell meeting, as this seems like a less spiritual place than church, so we must ALL repent.
Whenever two or three of you come together in my name, I am there with you.Matthew 18:20; Contemporary English Version
The phone addiction is REAL, so it’s NOT OK for us to be casual and hope that we won’t be distracted. Nope.
Like my Coach, Marie Forleo, would say, ‘Hope ain’t a strategy.’ We must be proactive, so here are a few things I did to break phone addictions in my life, a discipline I also apply in church, which I will now also be applying to other gatherings in the name of Jesus.
And while we want to address this at a church level, I know that habits are habits. If you don’t have phone discipline in your day to day life, that indiscipline will spiral into your time in church, and other gatherings including meetings that require you to respect the persons in your physical space by giving them your attention. So everything I will be sharing is what you do in your life, so that it also impacts on your time with Jesus, whether personal or corporate.
So we are creating new habits around how we use our phone in general, so we can apply to everywhere, including church.
Now a caution: There are times you may have to check your phone in church and other places. For example, as a mom who left her kids in the care of anyone she needs to check in with, or you have some urgent matters that you must attend to, especially something that if not for this gathering, you would have been at, e.g you got permission off work to attend a prayer meeting, and some matters at work may need your attention. I mean, I know we are mature enough to distinguish between responsibilities and distractions. Amen
Ok, now, those five things, especially if you are addicted:
- Make your phone very hard to unlock.
Then set timer to lock in 30seconds or no more than 1 minute.
No, don’t do the swipe to unlock, don’t even do the pattern unlock. Both are too simple. Make it harder, use password, which as you can see on my phone is the highest security. Remember, you are not just trying to protect your phone from others, you are protecting the distractions on your phone from you. For example, my password can be IamDiscipLined79##
Imagine all the caps and small letters, then numbers and letters. It is FRUSTRATING to keep unlocking it everytime so you will only unlock when you need to. I also would do a ‘phone narration’, a term I learned from Juliet Funt, which is me saying out loud what exactly I am unlocking my phone to do.
It worked for me at the very beginning of my fight to break the addiction.
Now I say WORKED because I don’t do this anymore. In fact, in this season, my phone has no locks cos I am more disciplined now, Thank God!
Also, don’t forget to share your password with your next of kin, or closest family or friends.
- Grey your phone out early in the evening.
This will especially work if your phone distracts you from time with your loved ones in the evening and then takes away from precious sleep time because you are endlessly scrolling at night, especially if sleeping 7-8 hours is your goal (as should be which I kind of talk about here.
This one is frankly sad and painful. You deserve better!!! You and your precious rest and sleep time should never be a victim of technology manipulations. So if you find phone addictions peak at night, then do this. I still have this feature on my phone, so by 7.20pm, it grays out and everything goes to black and white until 4.30am. Talk about unappealing.
Now of course I can go and change it but how unfaithful is that with a pact I made to myself? I don’t, abeg.
So depending on when your problem times are, you can set your own time frame on your phone. If you are not sure if your phone has it or not, google it. Plus there are probably apps that also make this possible. Google it, again.
- Be broke about Apps.
Didn’t know how best to put this, but what this means is don’t be quick to download apps, no matter the buzz about them, You cannot afford it. If you don’t need it and can live without it, don’t download. I recall someone telling me she didn’t have whatsapp and I was shocked. But she is thriving. When Telegram came out, and someone casually told me something about it expecting I had it. I told her I couldn’t afford it, and she thought it was a space issue and wanted to gift me a large memory card LOL.
I didn’t and still don’t feel a use for Telegram so I don’t have it. I also don’t have games, and any apps I don’t need. I can’t afford them in time, and mental space. If I need an App temporarily, I install and uninstall when done. The more apps on the phone, the more appealing and enticing it is, and the harder for you to fight and win distractions. I only have apps that make my life better and richer, not apps that distract me
And another pro tip is to delete the App version of most Apps and use the web version instead. It usually has less things to distract, chief of which would be App notifications. E.g, Instagram on web is less appealing than using the App. Since YouTube is an app that has the potential to distract me, I don’t have the App, and the web version is so boring hehe. You don’t have many of the ‘features’ aka distractions that come with the App. I only have the Gmail app cos you really cant do much with your phone without it, but Yahoo App is not even close to my phone. Boring web version only hehe.
- Keep an organized home and other screens.
Oh this one works so well. Now that you don’t have useless apps, the few you have, make it hard to get to, especially useful apps that can be distracting. don’t leave it on the home screen. Create folders and then put them in. So when you need an app, it takes some effort to find it. The only app I can find easy on my phone are my YouVersion Bible app, then my camera, call button and any book I am currently reading. Everything else requires an effort to find. Since I don’t see it easily, then I am less likely to be distracted by it.
- Set timers to useful Apps with potential for distractions.
Now, your phone is simple and minimal right? Now, set timers to any apps that keep tripping you up. Your phone may have features for this in-built or you may need to download an App for it. Google, again LOL. Set the timing you wanna give to it daily and when it times you out, respect yourself and stay off, please. I do that for my whatsapp and it has been a game changer since I began. I give it 40mins, then I have the option of adding 30min or 10min to it when done. When the second timer is done, I get off whatsapp for the day with dignity. What this means is that I am laser-focused when I am on whatsapp. No distractions!!!
I don’t need to do that with any other app cos I don’t even have any App that can be distracting.
Ok, so tell me, which are you applying right now?
And even more important, which have you been applying that has made such a difference in how you use your phone?
Please share so that the 1000s of sweet souls, including me, who come her for these valuable info can learn from it, and we can all learn from each other.
And don’t forget to share this link.
Then check the YouTube video out too
Can’t wait to read from you.
Cheers to turning back distractions daily.
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