In 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You, author Tony Reinke says, “digital consumerism is directly at odds with many of the most fundamental convictions of the gospel. Spiritual authenticity is measured by faith in the unseen truth of God, not by confidence in the visible consumables of our age” (138).
What does he mean by “directly at odds”?
For starters, the term faith denotes trust and confidence or rather, its a “synonym for confidence in the unseen spiritual realities” (138). The Bible is replete with examples of exhortations to focus on the unseen.
- Seek the things that are above → Col. 3:1-2
- We look for things that are unseen not seen → 2 Cor. 4:18
- We walk by faith, not by sight → 2 Cor. 5:7
- Our hope is rooted in what we don’t physically see → Rom. 8:24-25
- Faith is the certainty or assurance of things hoped for → Heb 11:1;
- Blessed are those who believe and have not seen → John 20:29
- Despite not seeing Jesus, we love Him → 1 Pet. 1:8-9
Despite a believer’s trust and confidence in that which is unseen, it does not mean that what our eyes can see is of no value. It does mean, “that what we see is given its fullest meaning by what we cannot see. The physical gifts we enjoy seemingly are ‘thickened’ by our capacity to see and treasure the unseen Giver” (140).
In summary, Reinke says,
- The gospel of consumerism says: everything you could possibly imagine for your earthly happiness and comfort is available in a dozen options, sizes, colors, and price points.
- The gospel of Jesus Christ says: everything you could possibly need for your supreme joy and eternal comfort is now invisible to the human eye.
May God grant me the grace to realize that what the joy and comfort I receive here on this earth is but a shadow of the profound joy and comfort that waits for me as my citizenship in heaven is fully realized (Phil. 3:20-21).