People are still reading the response I posted shortly after hearing that Steve Jobs died.*
Most of the feedback I received to my article was positive and appreciative. However, there were some who questioned the need to respond to this news at all, or suggested that the idea of having a Christian response was simply “silly”.
In light of that—right or wrong, silly or not—I thought I’d share why I, as a Christian, wrote a response to the death of Steve Jobs.
It was therapeutic for me…
This is the most selfish reason why I wrote the post. As a geek, Apple user, and a Christian, I needed to process this sad news. Oftentimes, blogging about a subject (even if I don’t hit the “Publish” button) is extremely therapeutic for me.
Instead of putting my thoughts and feelings in a box and ignoring them, I typed them out, formatted them, deleted some of them, and then arranged them in a post that I hoped would be beneficial to some.
I felt it was expected…
There is a sense in which I felt it was expected. I have thoughts and opinions about a variety of subjects. Share a drink or a meal with me and I’ll likely share them with you. However, when it comes to this blog, I frequently resist.
I believed the death of such a prolific technological icon was in the crossroads of this blog’s niche: theology and technology, faith and life. If I were ever going to write a response to a cultural event, wouldn’t this news make the cut? I thought so.
To help you consider your response…
Unless you’re scratching your head and wondering who Steve Jobs is, then you’ve heard or read about his death last week. And if you did, then you—like me—responded. Even if you did nothing and ignored the news, that was still a response.
As in all things, you had an opportunity as a Christian to respond well, or to respond poorly.
It is far too easy to…
- simply dismiss the news as irrelevant;
- or to quote a scripture verse without love and wisdom;
- to pronounce via a tweet the eternal state of Steve Jobs;
- to distastefully hijack the news for your own motives;
…and then to move on to the next item in your agenda for the day without giving it another thought.
It is far more difficult to…
- be reflective: applying theology to real life;
- to use wisdom and discretion;
- to consider the impact of Jobs and Apple in light of God’s Word;
- to give thanks to God for how He has blessed the world through Steve Jobs;
- to remember that Jobs’ family and friends are creatures made in the image of God who are hurting;
…and then to offer compassion and most importantly your prayers.
I hoped that if you read my blog post it would give you pause to consider your response, and to help you decide how you could respond well.
To encourage conversation with the world around you…
The world, like the world in the Apostle Paul’s day, “spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new” (Acts 17:21). If we’re being salt and light, then we are going to come into contact with co-workers, family members, neighbours, school friends, etc., who are speaking about Steve Jobs’ death.
I took one of my daughters to the doctors this weekend, and even the doctor began a conversation with me about Steve Jobs!
Although I didn’t mention this explicitly in my post, it was also my hope that as you read my brief reflections and then chewed over them in your mind, it would help you in the conversations you’d likely have in the coming days.
When having conversations with non-Christians about Steve Jobs it…
- is easy to stifle or abruptly end a conversation by being disagreeable or untimely in your remarks.
- is difficult—but possible with proper reflection—to have a winsome and genuine conversation, allowing you to share your God-centered thoughts on Steve Jobs’ contribution to the world and to reveal that you’re praying for his family and friends.
You had a choice over the last 5 days; a choice to respond well or to respond poorly in conversation.
To illustrate, here are two possible scenarios:
The unbeliever you were speaking to about Steve Jobs could remember you as the cold, unloving, agenda pushing, judgmental, “Christian”, who lacked any of what they perceived the rest of the world to be expressing; love, compassion, appreciation, and condolences. And as one who had a faith and worldview that didn’t include an answer to technology.
The unbeliever you were speaking to about Steve Jobs could remember you as a warm, loving, agreeable, and gracious Christian, who demonstrated a thoughtful yet winsome response to Steve Jobs’ death. And as one who had a faith and worldview that provided an answer to technology, included a God of creativity who answers prayer, and as one who understood a love that extended beyond mere sentiment.
To whom of the above two Christians do you think this unbeliever will turn to, in the days, weeks, or months ahead, if they want answers to the deep issues and serious pains of life? Which scenario lends itself to future, more fuller conversations about the hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15)?
So there you have it.
Silly or not, that is why I, as a Christian, wrote a response to the death of Steve Jobs.
I pray that however you responded, and however you will respond to such events in the future, that after reflection you’ll be able to say that you responded well.
Remember, the world is watching and they will remember how you respond to such events.
* Thank you to everyone who took the time to read it. It is humbling to see a post I’ve written spread through various social networks.