After last night’s discussion at Revolution concerning the prevalence of idols in the culture around us, it brought to mind a news story that I stumbled across last week. A 13-year-old girl in California sent 14,528 text messages (or “TXT MSG’s”) during the month of December. This is equivalent to 484 messages per day or 1 message every two minutes that the girl was awake. If an average text message takes 30 seconds to compose & send, that translates into 121 hours of texting in the course of an entire month.  

Now, that’s obviously an extreme (if not superhuman) amount of texting, but even a typical 13-17 year old sends an average of 1,742 messages per month. That’s nearly 15 hours of texting each & every month.

Does 15 hours of texting per month border on idolatry? I’m not sure the answer to that but there’s a simple test that will provide some interesting insights on the question. The test is this: Give up texting for a month (or even a week) and see how much anguish it causes you. The amount of mental distress you suffer will indicate how much power texting has over you.

This test can be applied to most of the potential idols swirling around us. Whatever your “thing” is – video games, sports, shopping, etc… — give it up for a month and find out how much of your life & happiness is actually centered around that activity. It’s only by “calling out” the idols in our life by such means that we can see what the idols are and begin to fight them with the Spirit’s help.


Eron Elswick

Worship – Grow – Serve


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