August 29, 2019

This past week in a meeting, Bo and Jerri were trying to explain the advantages of having the virtual assistant device built by Amazon called Alexa. But I’m old, anti-technology, ignorant, and set in my ways. I just don’t like the idea of something continually listening and monitoring everything I say.

Bo went on to say that while his daughters are growing up with this sort of technology in their home, sometimes it comes back to bite them. I asked Bo to send me the information for a Daily Devotional. This is our conversation.

Bo said, “Pastor Tom, the girls ordered a song on Amazon accidentally, a digital download of a song, I think. They cancelled quickly when they figured it out.”

Me: “Perfect. Which girls?”

Bo responded: “Ansley and Ryleigh. Emma and Sydney wouldn’t have cancelled the order. They prefer forgiveness to permission.”

After reading Bo’s text to Melissa and Amanda, I said, “I don’t want something in my home listening to every word I say.” Amanda turned to Melissa and said, “Says the man with an iPhone.”

Then with same patience that adults demonstrate in explaining hard concepts to children, Melissa and Amanda told me that Siri was listening to every word I said and ready to reply. Wanting to test her outlandish hypothesis, I said, “Hey Siri.” When my phone said, “Yes?”, I knew I was in trouble.

The lesson is to always be careful what you say. Even when you think you are alone, your smart phone is listening. But even more importantly, God hears everything we say. There are some things I wish God had never heard me say.

Jesus wants us to truly understand that our words matter and are of consequence. That’s why he said, “I tell you that people will have to answer on Judgment Day for every useless word they speak. By your words you will be either judged innocent or condemned as guilty.” (Matthew 12:36-37)

Just remember, even if your smart phone is off, there is still someone who hears. He’s the one who matters.

Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, I pray my words bring you joy instead of sorrow. Help me think before I speak and fill my mouth with words of wisdom. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

If my phone is listening anyway, maybe having Alexa isn’t that bad an idea. I need all the help I can get.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins