January 18, 1994
Psychologists are concerned that computers and other technical equipment is robbing people of their relational skills. They say that we are becoming so dependent upon machines that we don’t need each other. Not a few science fiction writers even speculate that someday, machines will rule the world.
Don’t believe it. This week, I can prove that we don’t need machines at all; machines need us. During our vacation my husband laughed when he found me playing Minesweeper on a computer in the corner of a Radio Shack store. He was already convinced I would not survive two weeks without my 486 and laughed that I simply could not survive without my computer.
When we got home, we discovered the opposite. My PCU has a rechargeable battery. Because I turned it off while we were gone and wasn’t using it, the battery did not recharge and some of the memory needed to start the computer was lost. It would not “boot” and I had the last laugh; it was the computer that could not live without me!
While I do use this machine a great deal, I am not helpless without it. I can still write, draw pictures, and play other games besides those designed for computers. A fruitful life does not depend on any machine... but this machine’s life and usefulness does depend on me. Pull the plug and it is a mere dust-collector.
After fixing the problem, I thought about co-dependency (another psychological buzz-word) and how God designed us to live as useful tools for Him. The Bible even says, “Offer yourselves to God as instruments of righteousness.”
Certainly we are not machines. Unlike a computer, we have power to choose who we will serve and how. However, like a computer, we do need a power source, something that motivates us and gives us our energy to keep going. Furthermore, the power source we rely upon will determine how we live.
The Bible teaches that we are insufficient in ourselves to keep ourselves going forever. That is, our life comes from God. In Him we live and move and have our being. It teaches that fruitful abundant living also requires Him as our power source. Jesus said, “I am the Vine and you are the branches. If anyone remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
He didn’t mean we couldn’t function at all on our own. Those without Christ are still able to do things. However, without a relationship of dependency and faith, what we do is not sufficient to keep us going for eternity, nor is it enough for fruitful, abundant, godly living.
Even my machine did some things on its own (after I plugged it in) without my direction. It destroyed some sectors on its own hard drive, which was rather foolish. Now it needs some major surgery to correct that problem; a procedure that will wipe it clean and reformat it.
Believe it or not, the Bible talks about our self-reliant efforts in the same terms. God says that what we do apart from faith in Him and His direction is sinful and destructive. In fact, we are so damaged by sin that we also need major corrective surgery to remove it from our lives. We need Jesus to wipe our hearts clean and give us an entirely new life.
Between my Bible and the sometimes goofy circumstances of life, God keeps reminding me how important it is to rely on Him for motivation, power and direction. What I do on my own is either destructive or makes me as useless a computer with a pulled plug.