Fitbits and Your Faith

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One of the hottest gifts this past Christmas season was a fitness tracker. Whether it was a Fitbit, Misfit, Jawbone, Garmin, Polar, or some other brand, these wearable devices offer the promise of calculating how many steps you take, calories burned, minutes of activity, and in some cases, your heart rate and how well you slept.

These trackers prod you with indicator lights, or vibrating alerts to get you up and moving or to show how you are doing throughout the day. Accompanying software lets you set goals, show progress and even share on social media. Apps like MapMyRun show exactly where you went and for how long.

Medical personnel and fitness experts have determined that certain values are crucial to continuing health, or improving health (x number of steps per day, certain heart rate to burn fat/calories, certain number of hours of sleep per night, and so forth).  The thinking is that if we track it, then we build better health habits and make better health choices.

Why don’t we do this with our faith?  While tongue-in-cheek (but not too much, really), I offer the following apps to help us track our faith. And if someone actually creates one of these, I expect a hefty check in the mail for the idea!

ShareMyService

Every time you do a good deed, or engage in service for the betterment of others, a jewel is added to your virtual crown and is automatically uploaded to social media. This will spur others on, as iron sharpens iron, to look for ways to serve, right now. A vibration alert can be set if you have not been the hands and feet of Christ to someone in the last (insert time period).

MapMyMeditation

Using the latest brain-wave technology, this app’s indicator lights will blink for every five seconds you are meditating on Scripture. Proprietary heart rate monitoring gauges when you feel at peace in Christ’s presence

PrayerPins

Whenever you pray for someone, an automatic syncing mechanism sends a notice via social networks to those for whom you are praying. Settings allow for private or public sharing, as others may be encouraged to pray for that person as well.

We invest a lot of money and time and effort and public sharing regarding what we are eating and doing activity-wise, all for the sake of improving our lives and our health, based on the recommendations of experts.

The mothers and fathers of our faith and the great cloud of witnesses have been consistent in sharing those proven values and habits which enable our faith to grow, to deepen. Wouldn’t we want to focus some time and effort in tracking them?

Why can’t there be a wearable to encourage us to pray more, or invest more time in Bible reading or devotion or meditation?  Could we track how much we serve so it can be shared on social networking? Isn’t there an app for that?

Why do we need to be ashamed of sharing/showing what we are doing to grow our faith, deepen our love for Christ?   Are we not to let our light shine so as to glorify our Father in heaven?   Isn’t our faith supposed to be like a city on a hill? Salt and light are visible and in many ways tangible—you know when they are present and when they are absent.

Shouldn’t our faith be tangible and visible? We only tend to track, note and share that which we deem important or want/need encouragement with to continue. Can’t we track our faith development (not to earn anything but to grow)?

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Dr. John A. Page and his wife Stacey are both alums of Asbury Theological Seminary, and together they parent two daughters. He lives and pastors in the North Georgia Conference and can be reached at john.a.page@ngumc.net

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