I’m a geek wannabe. I am fascinated by technology and what it has bought to our lives.
I have witnessed the introduction of cellular phones and personal computers during my lifetime. My adult children have never lived without them. Like their generation, they consider Wi-Fi to be a right instead of a convenience.
Technology has made a difference in our lives in so many ways. My smartphone is filled with apps for all kind of purposes. Some give me the weather report. Others give me stock updates, while others store information in the cloud for use later. When I go to the App Store, I’m overwhelmed by the endless list of potential apps that promise to help my life and my work. A church friend has told me that he has become an “app junkie.” I assume he means he is looking for the holy grail of apps. I’m looking for that app, as well.
But technology has its limits. This was bought to my attention by two parishioners a few years ago when personal computers were more of a novelty than an essential.
Herb had just purchased his first Apple computer and he was so proud of it. He came to church and immediately started boasting about it to Elaine. He cited all of the specs about his new computer. He sounded like a computer salesman.
After a few minutes of non-stop chatter about his new computer, he looked at Elaine and said, “You don’t seem excited about my computer.” Without realizing that Elaine was a non-techie person, Elaine replied, “Herb, I’ll be excited about your computer when it can tell me the difference between right and wrong.”
You could have knocked Herb off his feet with a feather as he heard Elaine’s comment.
Elaine nailed one of the great weaknesses of modern technology. Computers are not designed to make moral and ethical decisions. They are great for mining data. They are great at scanning the internet to pull up information for us to read and consider. They are helpful with our writing and communication.
When it comes to morality and ethics, there isn’t an app for them. We are taught morality and ethics through careful reading and discernment of Holy Scriptures. Jesus taught his disciples to do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Luke 6:31). His lesson serves us well as we consider the inequalities of life.
Many of us remember Gordon Gekko in the movie “Wall Street.” As he made his pitch for a hostile takeover of a company during the stockholders meeting, Gekko took the microphone and said “Greed is good.”
We have seen the effects of greed.
Allowing Jesus’ words to become our “operating system” for life will move us toward a world in which we reject Gordon Gekko’s motto. Jesus’ lesson in ethics and morality will result in our world becoming a better place and we will become better persons.
At the end of the day, the Bible is the only real app we need for life.
The Rev. Wayne Wike is senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Laurinburg. Reach him at [email protected]