Friday, February 17, 2012

The Truth About My iPhone

So I finally caved in. I got an iphone. It's ironic that I'd even start this post saying that I "caved in" to get one-- making sure everyone knows how saintly I am and how I resisted to the last to even get such a nice thing-- since I'm writing about how this tiny piece of metal (or whatever it is) has been used of God to reveal my sin in the last 48 hours. 

To share this story I'll have to give a little history lesson first. There was a dramatic "financial" transition in my life around 9th grade when my father passed away. We went from having the kind of house that was talked about at school to, well, not having a house. The point is I went from being a "privileged child" to one that felt less privileged than many in our upper-middle class school. This awkward-- and painful-- change in my life was actually a rescue in many ways from an identity completely wrapped up in money. I had to learn how to say no to things at times. I had to learn that driving a junker was not the end of the world. I had to learn that wearing shirts without a tiny horse on them is OK. I had to learn that having a phone period is a blessing and to be happy with whatever I have! 

This was a great work of God in my life: freeing me from bondage to the false god of materialism. And yet, I decided to add to that work. I decided I was holier than those who could afford Polo shirts and nice jeeps. I rolled my eyes and sighed at how "spoiled" those kids were who did receive the material blessings I didn't. Into my adult life, I specifically expressed this self-righteousness toward Apple users. "Oh brother, who actually needs a computer that nice," I'd always think. "They're obviously not stewarding their money well." (There's that obsession with control and stewardship again!) I took a good thing God had done in my life-- loosening my grasp on things-- and made it an evil thing, automatically judging the heart of anyone with a nice laptop or iphone.

So the irony is that when after much prayer, God clearly led us and clearly provided for us to get these phones (of course I followed all the "good stewardship" rules), I become intoxicated by it. I literally couldn't fall asleep the first night we had them because I was thinking about my shiny, white, perfect, phone. I didn't hear when Michael spoke to me because I was too busy stroking my precious keys. I spent my time driving thinking about what I might need to ask Siri (yes, the phone talks!) so I could use it while in the car. And here's the really scary stuff: I actually felt prettier. I felt cooler. I felt more important. 

A phone! A piece of metal. I bought the very lie I pretended to be so "above." I so easily and quickly fell into the same sin I claimed to stand against; a sin that was actually in my heart all along. God is good to bless me with a nice thing, and He's good to use that very blessing to humble and heal me. 

Self-righteousness, hypocrisy, and materialism. I'm not above them. In fact, I can't even see them operating in my life most of the time. But my God is a God of rescue, and He'll expose me in order to free me. 

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