Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Is Technology an Ego Thing?

The other day I was listening to a technology talk show on the radio...actually, I stumbled on it, but anyway, it was there. The topic of discussion was tech devices and how it is the nature of the technology industry for a company to release a product and to be working on that device's successor during or even prior to the release of the current device. This is where we get the concept that computers and tech devices are "obsolete" as soon as they leave the store shelf.

During the course of the show, a caller called in and was asking about the need to upgrade his current device because he was concerned that it wouldn't handle all of the tasks he required of it.

The host responded that most devices are suitable for most applications, so you will be fine with what you have unless it's an ego thing for you to have the latest device. He elaborated and said that there are some people who just have to have the latest device as a boost to their ego. It's a status symbol the way some people drive new luxury cars.

Now, I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing, but I'm hardly the poster child for the latest tech device. I am still running Windows XP on my laptop and I just recently got it back from having it tuned up and having the RAM increased because my 512MB wasn't enough for the programs I was running. I was also recently given an iPhone by a relative who has more cash flow than I do, but it will be another month before I can set it up with phone and data service.

But there are things sometimes that we feel we have to have because of our ego. Maybe it is a particular tech toy. Maybe it's a new car. Maybe it's a motorcycle or an ATV, or in my part of the country it could even be a deer lease. For my family, we are really trying to simplify our lives. We are also putting almost all of our extra income toward paying off debt. But that doesn't mean we don't have a bunch of stuff we don't need. We live in a pretty small house and a lot of my musical equipment (sound system, drumset, etc.) lives at the church where it is used regularly. I have some guns that were given to me by my father that stay in a safe. I also have lots of clothes that don't fit in my closet.

Matthew 6:19-21 says that we should not lay up treasures for ourselves where moth and rust destroy, or where thieves break in and steal. But rather we should store up for ourselves treasures in heaven. For where our treasure is, there our heart will be also.

What are the things we feel we need to have to satisfy our ego? Is it an iPad? A car? A house in a particular neighborhood? How can we trust God to meet our needs when we don't get the things we think we need?

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