Is The C of C Afflicted With CPA?

J. D. Conley
November 24, 2013

CPA stands for Continuous Partial Attention. "A former Apple employee, Linda Stone, coined the term in 1998" (Jeffers, The Weekly Standard, Oct.21-28, 2013 46). The omnipresence of social media with its constant interruptions have helped spread this affliction exponentially. The ability to concentrate and devote full attention has been adversely affected by the advent of Twitter, facebook, texting, smartphones, etc. We have such a desire to not miss anything, that we end up not knowing something as well as we ought. We are so "plugged into" so many sources, that we only get bits and pieces of information, instead of whole cloth.

I fear that CPA is a malady that has afflicted the church of Christ as well. What about when it comes to our study of the Word, is it only engaged in on Sunday or Wednesday? If so, then we are suffering from CPA. Paul does not say give "continuous partial attention" to a study of the Word. He says, "Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth " (2Tim.2:15, ASV). He told Timothy, "Till I come, give attendance to reading..." (1Tim.4:13). Notice the terms, "diligence; attendance," not "partial attention." How many are burdened with a case of CPA when it comes to their giving? Sometimes they give on the Lord's day and sometimes they don't. They continually give partial attention to what they "lay by in store" (1Cor. 16:2). Those suffering from CPA cannot possibly be giving "as God hath prospered him..." (1Cor.l6:2). Has CPA affected your prayer life? If so, you're disobeying the Lord's Word (Lk.18:1) and Paul's (lThess.5:17). Is your attendance to worship services and Bible classes lacking due to CPA? If so, God is hardly pleased, (Jn.4:24, Heb.10:25). As you sing does "the word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Col.3:16)? Or is His Word just partially dwelling in us? As we gather around the Lord's Table to commemorate the Lord's death, do we pay just partial attention to His sacrifice? Do we continually engage in all these acts, week in and week out, by only paying them partial attention? Has CPA become a way of life for us? I pray not!

Continuous Partial Attention in some areas of life will probably not hurt us, but when it comes to living for Christ. CPA is deadly! May we ever stand guard against it.