In today’s world, technology continues to play a prominent role. The way we communicate, the way we do business and even the way we worship have all been transformed by new advancements in tech. As a Christian, it can be a challenge to navigate through this digital age and approach these innovations with wisdom and biblical discernment.

At the core of discerning technology from a Christian perspective, there are a few key principles to consider. One such principle is the need to maintain a balanced view. While certain advancements can usher in significant benefits, they may also pose risks and potential dangers that need to be taken into consideration.

Here are some crucial questions and aspects to ponder as we approach progress in technology as Christians.

1. Discerning the Purpose and Benefits

The first area to assess when considering new technological advancements is its purpose. Does it genuinely seek to improve lives? Can it facilitate better communication, enhance education and research or make certain tasks more efficient and effective for our service to God and others?

For instance, we should appreciate how modern means of communication — like phones, emails or social media platforms — make it possible to reach and minister to people across the globe. Likewise, the internet opens up vast resources, making it possible to access biblical knowledge and study the Word of God more easily than ever before.

While not all innovation will have an immediate, obvious connection to furthering the gospel, the use of technology can promote God’s purposes in numerous ways.

2. Awareness of Potential Risks and Dangers

In addition to the benefits, Christians must also guard against the potential pitfalls and dangers that technology may bring. These issues vary depending on the context, but might include privacy concerns, cybercrime, digital addictions or distractions from meaningful relationships.

In an information era, it’s critical for believers to be discerning consumers of online content. Proverbs 4:23 reminds us to "watch over [our] heart with all diligence, for from [our] heart flow the springs of life" (ESV). This includes filtering out negative or ungodly material. It’s also important to set boundaries in the time spent using certain technologies to avoid cultivating dangerous addictions.

As David Swavely writes, “Technology has moral dimensions. Our relationship with and stewardship of the technological tools God puts in our hands is a moral matter.” In other words, it’s not enough to simply rely on the goodness of technological innovation; we must also assess the moral implications.

3. Valuing Human Interaction and Relationships

One downside of advancing technology is the potential loss fo human interaction and personal relationships. Screen-based relationships may seem convenient, but they can never take the place of the real thing. As Christians, our faith is about building meaningful community, something that requires genuine, face-to-face engagement.

In this digital age, there are times when we need to disconnect and prioritize personal interactions over screen time. The more we can make time to listen, serve and invest in the lives of others, the more we embody Christ’s example.

4. Recognizing Technology as a Tool Not Our Master

Ultimately, technology is nothing more than a tool. While it can be an enabler of God’s work and a great blessing, its power must never be allowed to dictate our actions or our lives. After all, technology is an invention made by human beings, subject to faults and errors. It is a fallible resource, whereas God’s word is infallible truth.

If a particular technological advancement distracts us from Christ or our spiritual growth, Christians have the right to reject it. The principles above can guide us in making wise decisions about how to wield the tools at our disposal while maintaining a focus on our ultimate goal: following and sharing the message of Jesus Christ.