It’s hard enough to be a preacher’s wife/Bible teacher/Christian blogger and speaker without the thought that someone is listening to me while I’m in my own home. I have an incredibly busy husband and I raised sons. I’ve grown accustomed to being ignored, and I kind of like it.
But not by Siri. She listens 24/7.
The other morning, I was having a conversation with my husband, Jim, and Siri chimed in twice from my phone, uninvited. Jim laughed at me when I picked up my phone and said, “What I want is for you to quit listening!”
I’m not sure, but Siri may have left dejected. She hasn’t spoken again since.
Now, I’m blogging and wondering if I hurt some cosmic woman’s feelings.
I’m just not ready for any more technology. I really just wanted to be able to make phone calls, and now it seems I have a whole new family member to deal with.
How accountable are we these days?
Jim sends his Daily Article to more than 170,000 people every day. My son Craig’s First15 devotionals have a huge following as well. It’s getting difficult to go somewhere and not run into someone who knows about and follows our ministries.
That is a great blessing . . . most of the time. We have bad days too.
I go to the grocery store sometimes and don’t bother to worry that much what my hair looks like. Sometimes I run to the post office in my most casual attire. Occasionally, I wear my sunglasses, hoping they will provide a suitable disguise.
And, if I could wear a sack over my head on the Dallas North Tollway, I would. Let’s just say I learned how to drive in Los Angeles, and there are different rules there.
Everyone has a cell phone with a camera. The other day, a drone flew around the neighborhood. People can see pictures on their computers that I don’t even know exist. My phone can ring with a FaceTime call after I’ve already decided to get ready for bed. (Note to readers: I won’t answer that call unless it’s my kids or grandkids.) And Siri can interrupt a perfectly private conversation with my husband at 5:30 in the morning!
Do I have to be on my best behavior all the time?
Who are we accountable to?
I taught this verse a few weeks ago, and I’m considering taking up needlepoint so I can make it into a pillow.
Paul was writing to the church in Corinth, defending some of the slander he had received. I really like what he said: “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me” (1 Corinthians 4:3–4).
In verse 5, he writes it will be the Lord “who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purpose of the heart.”
It’s the Lord who judges us, and he knows the motives of our heart. Paul told the church in Corinth that their opinions mattered, but not very much. Their judgments were flawed because they didn’t know the whole story. They didn’t know Paul’s motives.
We shouldn’t judge because we can’t
I had to teach a difficult passage from this same letter to the Corinthian church.
A man was having a public, physical relationship with his stepmother. Paul told the church to expel him if he didn’t repent.
That isn’t the same thing as passing judgment on others. If people openly and publicly sin, we don’t have to wonder if they are accountable for that sin.
Previously, Paul was discussing the sins and the service we do in our lives. Which sins have we not fully repented of? Which sins are chronic? Which behaviors don’t look like sin but really are? What service appears to be obedience to God but really isn’t?
That is the stuff of our lives only God can judge. He knows the motives of our hearts; we don’t.
We should live with intent
I really don’t want Siri listening to all my conversations, but what if she does? What would I say differently or not at all? What would I be proud of, and what would cause me shame? What would please God, and what would break our fellowship?
I would be a more careful Christian if I lived liked people were watching.
Paul said Christians should “aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you” (1 Thessalonians 4:11). That was easier to do in the days before cell phones, computers, Siri, and Alexa. People are watching and listening even when we are minding our own business and working hard.
But this new age of accountability could be a good thing too.
What if people are listening to you share the gospel? What if people are listening to your testimony? What if they hear you offering forgiveness or asking for it?
Maybe we should also remember what Jesus said in Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Witnessing isn’t just something we do. A witness is who Spirit-filled Christians have become.
Let’s live like people are listening. They are. God wanted them to. We just need to remember to let his Spirit do the talking.
Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I owe Siri an apology.