An Inch Wide and a Mile Deep

February 23, 2017  - By Gretchen Saffles

In the blink of an eye, my phone has become an added appendage to my body. I carry it with me everywhere I go. Even when I am not using it, it seems to be within reach. Every moment seems to be documented on this little device. It makes the most unbecoming accessory. It offers connectivity to the world, while at the same time it disconnects me from what is right before my eyes. It seems that my world often revolves around this tiny box that is only 5.33 inches long and .28 inches deep. I often wonder if the depth of my phone represents the depth of my soul when I allow it to control my thoughts and actions more than I allow God to be the master of my heart?

Lately, I’ve noticed a trend in my phone usage: I pick it up when I want to “escape” boredom, avoid stringent tasks, or be “inspired.” However, the majority of the time I eventually put down my phone forgetting the tasks I needed to do, feeling as if I’m not dong enough, envying the lives of others, or doubting what God has called me to do. It seems that in the blink of an eye I find myself trading a full, abundant, present life in Jesus for one that is dictated by apps that feature the lives of others. What other people are doing has the power to control my level of satisfaction and contentment if I allow it. In our social media saturated world, I believe that the principle of Proverbs 4:23 is all the more required for us to guard the treasure that has been entrusted to us by Christ. This verse wisely guides, “keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” The word “keep” means to guard and watch over. Furthermore, the word “heart” refers to the “inner man, mind, and will.” We are to guard our emotions, thoughts, and thinking with all diligence, knowing that from within flows the springs of life! This is no easy task – it requires great discipline, gospel vision, and God-fearing determination.

What we behold becomes evident in what we believe about God, others, and ourselves. When I put my phone in front of my eyes first thing in the morning before I behold the power of the Word of God, my day is off kilter. I need Jesus first thing in the morning, and I need to know what HE has to say before I hear what others have to say. I don’t want to live the shallow kind of life that is a mile wide and an inch deep, I want to swim in the depths of God’s grace, embracing living a life that is an inch wide and a mile deep.

In the cloak of human flesh, Jesus Christ modeled for us how to live a life that is an inch wide and a mile deep. He spent most of His time with just 12 disciples, teaching them His ways and pouring into them. His earthly “vocation” was carpentry, an average, mundane job. His will was to do the will of the Father, not the will of others. He followed the voice of God over the opinion of man. His mission was simple and clear. He didn’t waste His time envying others, and He certainly didn’t spend His quiet moments gazing at the lives of those around Him. He looked to the Father for direction and communion. He didn’t do absolutely everything while He was on earth, He did what the Father commissioned Him to do. In living life an inch wide and a mile deep, Jesus had the greatest impact of all people who have ever walked this planet. His impact lasts into eternity.

I think we have it all backwards when it comes to social media. We look to numbers to define us rather than to Christ, and in doing so, our lives are a mile wide and in inch deep. We think that bigger is better, when Jesus shows us that smaller is actually bigger. He is after our hearts, not social media platforms. I don’t want my phone to distract me from the main mission I’ve been given – to know Jesus and make Him known. I want to use it as a tool for the kingdom of God, and I know that in order to do this I must guard my heart with all vigilance.

If you feel like your heart has been locked in the prison of your phone, and like your soul is weary from living a life that is a mile wide and an inch deep, let me encourage you today to set the phone down and place it on the altar of God. After all, He created the very atoms that make up your phone. It’s not yours, it’s His. It is a tool that can be used for great good or for great harm. By His grace, we can be women who aren’t ruled by our phones, but are ruled by the gospel of Jesus Christ. You will never regret setting aside your phone to laugh with your child, to smell a blooming flower, to run outside with empty hands, or to read Scripture with no distractions in view.

Living an inch wide and a mile deep begins with boundaries that are set up to guard within us the treasure of Christ, the hope of glory. After all, Jesus didn’t need an iPhone to impact the entire world, He simply kept His gaze on the Father and loved those around Him enough to tell them the Truth and call them to repentance and new life. But praise God, Jesus still uses iPhone’s to not only build the kingdom of God, but to build us up at the same time if we use them diligently and with discretion. 

May Jesus use our phones to remind us that this life is about more than numbers, social media, and being constantly connected to the world. Instead, may all that we say and do overflow from a deep walk with Him and impacts those around us for all eternity. 

setting aside my phone and going deeper,


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  1. Jen D. says:

    Thank you for sharing such heartfelt words. Such a great reminder that this life is not about us or our social media accounts but rather it is about Jesus and His glory! I cannot thank you enough for sharing!

  2. ashley says:

    This is a really great post. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  3. Maeve says:

    So good! A reminder that social media and our phones aren’t inherently bad things- they simply need to be used with discretion and an end goal of pursuing Jesus and the Lord’s Kingdom! Thanks Gretchen 🙂

  4. says:

    Thank you so much for this post, I am a Catholic and I’ve thinking about giving up social media for lent and I believe God lead me to read this blog in assuring me that -that is what I must do.
    I want to tell you that I recently found your IG(talking about social media, lol) account and I love the encouragement stories you post. Keep up the great job!

    • says:

      I am praying that the time that you give up will be used to seek Jesus more and know Him more fully in the Word! Thank you for your encouragement!

  5. says:

    I love this! This topic is actually something the Lord has been impressing upon me a lot lately. It reminds me of Psalm 16:5-6 "O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. ​The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance."
    I’ve had to set up clear boundaries for myself in order to disconnect from my phone and they have been so life-giving! I can say that the "lines have fallen to me in pleasant places". My boundaries are: no social media before I open my Bible in the morning. No phone during work hours (unless I truly have to communicate with someone). And no social media after 10pm, so that my nights can be focused on praying or reading an encouraging book or the Bible. I’ve found that these simple boundaries keep me away from a lot of the trouble social media causes and make me crave it less during the day!
    Thank you for posting Gretchen! It’s always an encouragement!

    • says:

      Those are so good, Nicolette! I have found, too, that having healthy boundaries actually makes the time spent on my phone more meaningful, and the time "offline" more fruitful! Thank you for sharing this with me today!

  6. says:

    I am new to your blog, and I must say, as an older women, It makes my heart rejoice to see the younger women of God interacting and carrying on the Banner of Christ. What a blessing to find this site. I ordered the Give Me Jesus Journal. I can’t wait to start it when it arrives.
    I’m not as attached to my phone because of the age difference, but I can get caught up in Pinterest and Blogs. I do Bible Journaling and sometimes let time get away from me. What a great reminder to be mindful of the motives of my browsing. Thank you!

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