img_handset_iPhone3GSThe Apple iPhone

I have just managed to purchase for my business (and my wife) an apple iPhone 3GS. And what a "phone" I am not realy sure I would call this a phone, much more of a small computer really. I have had this thing for a few days now, and I have been playing with it pretty much non stop since I got it.


All the time that I have had this "phone" I have only actually made or received 2 phone calls on it! In fact the phone portion of this "phone" is actually almost hidden - this device is unashamedly about apps, little downloads that can be used for anything from managing your shopping list, to working out what's on TV tonight.


I have been using the iphone mainly for it's ability to connect to wireless networks, it has been brilliant for me to do small technical browsing and also getting my emails whilst away from the main computer. What a great device - really, really useful, but as with many new devices or popular commercial devices is that they are getting better and better at separating you and your money!

Once you have used the phone for a few minutes, you will find yourself pressing the App Store button, and pretty soon you will be presented with a list of literally thousands of possible downloads. Now without a wi-fi connection you could easily download a bunch of these to try out and in the process go over your download limit for the month and start shelling out heaps of cash in data costs! But you might also find yourself "needing" to download those applications that cost $0.99 all the way up to an application that could cost in the hundreds of dollars!!! How many other "phones" do you know that can lure you into spending so much extra capital so effectively?

So when you get your iPhone (and please do - they are a lot of fun.....oh and useful for business!) you will need to demonstrate some constraint and some control at what you download, where you download and what you buy.

So what is the moral of this story? The iPhone reminds me of the James 4 - "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from the desires that battle within you?"The iPhone has become a status symbol, and not just with the "younger" set, I know quite a few 40+ people who "need" to have one of these, and not just the phone, but the apps as well, and not just the apps, but the desktop stands, the cover, the case....the list just goes on and on.

When our desires for worldly things (like the iPhone) start to impede into our focus, and our priorities become upset then we start to fall into the same issues that were facing the early church. So does this mean that we need to avoid technologies like the iPhone because they are the beginning of a sliperly slope? No - that is not what James is saying, but if we find ourselves lying or cheating or being a poor steward of our money then perhaps we should avoid such technologies. We must guard both our time and our finances for the Lord. Is it possible to have an iPhone and keep your priorities right - sure - but should we perhaps ask someone to keep a track of us and ask us the hard questions? I think we should, perhaps a great question that we could be asked is "Do you feel a desire to pull out your iPhone in public places?" If the answer is yes, then my advice to you is "be careful!"

But please don't take me the wrong way - I really like my iPhone and I am sure that I will be writing a LOT more about it as I find out and work out more and more things I can do with it. But I am also painfully aware that I need to be aware of my attitudes towards my ownership of this cool, flashy device!