This weekend, I learned a lot about focus. (Mostly because my focus was in the wrong place.)
I came to a definite conclusion about focus:
What a person focuses on defines them.
A person’s focus controls what they love, what they fear, what they think about and therefore what they talk about.
As a Christian, I want my focus to be on God. Unfortunately though, I struggle a lot with focusing on ME instead of on God.
When I focus on myself then every situation is complicated by the fact that I’m thinking about how it relates to me. Rather then seek His glory and consequently watch Him do His wondrous work through each situation, I seek my own glory and get frustrated when I don’t come out looking amazing.
Situation: My child talks back in front of other people (that I wanted to impress).
- When I focus on myself: My parenting is controlled by my wanting others to think I’m a good mom. I get angry when my child misbehaves in the store because my pride is on the line. Suddenly the situation is NOT about my child, it is about ME.
- When I focus on God: I can see that this is an opportunity to help my child learn and grow. There is a spiritual battle
raging, and God has graciously just sent me to the front lines to help my child learn and hopefully win the next round.
But by losing focus of Him and zeroing in on me, I LOSE the opportunity to be used.
And as I’ve been thinking about it, I’ve been realizing that self-focus can be a factor in so many areas of life!
Bitterness is me blaming other people or circumstances rather
then submitting to the teaching hand of God.
Pride is me pulling God out of my mental picture so I can take credit for myself.
Depression is (often for me) being discouraged because I can’t achieve all I want because I’m unwilling to admit that God may have different plans.
(He may want me to learn contentment in a less then perfect house.)
(I don’t believe this is always the cause of depression for everyone. I do believe in a hormonal depression in the months following birth and other non-sinful depressions.)
Sinful Fear is when I refuse to trust Him with the future – wanting instead to take control for myself.
Paul wisely said “For me to live is Christ; to die is gain.” I’m praying that God help me have more of that attitude.
My life needs to be focused on Him, His glory, and His perfect will, and not on me!