Like just about everyone, I really enjoy my phone. I like Instagram, and checking email wherever, and reading my favorite blogs and news with such convenience. I have a few apps that I use a lot, and one of them is a Bible app. It's beautiful and functional and has lots of neat features such as reminders, different versions, reading plans, etc. For the past two years I have used it to help me stay on track with a 'read through the Bible in a year' plan, and that's been helpful.
Despite all the positives, I have decided to lay down my smartphone when it comes to daily Bible reading in the future, and pick up my lovely red leather one instead. There are a couple of reasons why.
When someone is reading on a tablet or phone, there's such privacy to it. This obviously can be a real problem, but even when the reader is engrossed in something good and wholesome, others can't tell what's on the screen. Usually in the morning I will sit in bed with my coffee and read my Bible (on my phone), check email and news. The kids wake up and trickle in for a snuggle (or to ask what's for breakfast!), and they see me holding my phone, but don't know that I am reading my Bible. One of my most treasured memories from childhood is finding my Mom in the spare bedroom reading her Bible and praying on her knees. It bothers me that my children don't see the same example in me. Certainly, we don't read God's Word or obey him mainly for the example we show to others, but that example is a reality. I want them to see and know that I love God and am meeting with Him each day. I want them to see my dependence on Him.
I have also found that it is very hard for me to really focus in on what I'm reading for very long when notifications pop up on my screen. I'm in the middle of a chapter--but let me just quickly respond to this text, or look at that new email. Arrgg. It's not exactly giving my focus and attention to what the Lord is saying in His Word. It's as if I'm saying, "Hold that thought, Lord." The distractions are not helpful to me as I try to study and meditate, and giving in to them is not honoring to God.
I do still think I will keep the app on my phone for times when I need to look something up, and for the convenience of having the Bible always accessible. And I'm not trying to legalistically say that this is what everyone should and shouldn't do. I just think it will be helpful for me. What are your thoughts?