“I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.” — 1 Corinthians 7:35.
People have always had trouble staying focused. And that includes Biblical times. Jesus told His followers that spiritual distraction begins with hearts that have grown dull, ears that are hard of hearing, and eyes that are closed (Matthew 13:15) We live today in an age of unprecedented distraction; jobs, kids, activities, houses, family, cars, hobbies, entertainment, recreation. In many ways we have become numb to distractions. We’ve become conditioned to expect and accept some level of distractions in our lives.
It’s not like we roll out the red carpet for distractions. They seem to find a small opening and work their way in. It usually happens when we lose focus. When we lose our focus we can lose sight of our purpose. So how do we maintain our focus? One way is to fine tune it every day.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:16, “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are[a]being renewed every day.” The fine tuning of our faith is a daily process. Most people would put Paul on the Mt. Rushmore of saints, but he wasn’t without his challenges. In Romans 7, he confesses his ongoing battle with temptation. In Timothy 4:9-13 he talks about his loneliness. For Paul, all of it was the “fine-tuning” process that happened every day.
It would seem to be easy to pilot a boat across St. Andrews Bay. But it is not as easy as you may think. Once you stop on your journey, all the course corrections will be made in very small, safe increments in the form of rudder adjustments. In many cases you are simply fine-tuning the direction you are already on.
Proverbs 4:27 says “Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.” You cannot eliminate all the distractions in life, but what you can do is to focus on Jesus. What are His priorities? Is the distraction taking you away from time with Him? If it is, what fine-tuning do you need to do to get back on the right path. Our goal is the same, to not be distracted by anything that pulls us away from what’s supremely important—knowing Christ. God calls us to a life where distractions fade and His voice becomes the One we listen to first and foremost.
Proverbs 4:15 (MSG) “Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.”
- What kind of distractions do you have in your life? Do you surround yourself with distractions intentionally or unintentionally?
- What can you do this week to fine-tune your focus on God?