Over the last several years, I have noticed a trend in my own thinking. When I am facing a challenge or want to know something I just “ask Google.” Apparently, I am not alone. According to internetlivestats.com, “Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide.” This is like half the world making a Google search once a day. These stats led me to ask the question – how often do I go to Google for answers instead of God? Has Google become a god to me and our society?
Several years ago, the Canadian Bible Engagement study said about 11% of all Canadians read the Bible at least weekly. The YouVersion Bible app has been downloaded over 300 million times – which is pretty impressive. Almost 20 Billion chapters of the Bible were read by YouVersion users last year (also pretty impressive). Yet this is still a drop in the bucket compared to Google searches.
Yes, I know Google is a great place where you can research issues related to faith, the Bible, and more. I am well aware it gives you access to great teachers and their perspectives on Scripture. Google also gives you specific information the Bible may not cover. But what if Google leads us to answers that are different from God’s perspective? If we do not know what the Bible teaches because we don’t spend time in it, then how can we compare the answers of Google to the answers from God?
In James 1:5 we read, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
I also find it interesting to note some statistics on Google Trends. In the last twelve months, the top countries to do a search for “God” were: Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, Sweden, and Norway. Canada is 29th on that list and the United States is 33rd. When searching for the word “Bible”, the top countries were: Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Jamaica. The United States was 9th and Canada was 17th. Why do we in North America even rarely ask Google about God or the Bible?
There is even a webpage that talks about “Googlism” and asks the question: Is Google God? It gives 9 proofs that Google is god. I think this has been done in jest, but I am not sure the real God thinks it is all that funny.
Here are some questions to consider in evaluating if Google has become a god in your life.
- When I have a problem in life, is my first inclination to “ask Google” or “ask God”?
- Do I search Google for answers more than I search the Bible?
- Do I follow what the “expert” Google helped me find says more than paying attention and doing what God says?
The good news is this is not the first time in history when people have chased after false gods to give them answers. The one true God is graciously looking for us to turn our hearts and minds back to Him. He loves us and wants to give us good things. But He also wants us to know He is the source of life and answers – not Google.
Google is a great tool, but it is not nearly as all knowing as God is.
Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”