Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Can't You See Straight?

Run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts . . .
but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right.

2 Timothy 2:22 (LB)

It is interesting just how big a role focus can take in our lives. For instance, we all know the folly of going grocery shopping when we feel hungry. We tend to buy more because we are thinking so much about being hungry. Or take dieting. We tend to think all the time about what we can't have, making us want those foods (or larger amounts) that much more.

On our first day of this new school year, my youngest had trouble with his first class. He kept thinking about how much he didn't want to have to do school. that made him extremely grumpy and he didn't listen to the teacher very well. He had to take twice as long to do the class because he had to go back and re-listen to what she said. by his second class, he decided to stop focusing on the fact that he didn't want to do school and focus on the task at hand. He did great! His whole attitude changed and he was no longer so grumpy. His focus changed and he was more effective.

When we focus on a temptation (like eating too much) our focus is still on that temptation and we will never be successful. But if we turn our attention to God, then with His help we can overcome that temptation because our focus has shifted.

The reason this is true is because we are stirring up an emotional response when we focus on our problem. When starting a diet, the overwhelming thoughts we usually have are focused on what we can't have. We start to feel deprived. Then we start to think of ways to get that dessert we can't have. We actually want it more because we can't have it.

What if we tried switching channels and just ignored the tempting thought altogether or get up and physically remove yourself from the situation and walk away? Now turn your attention to something else. When our focus shifts from the temptation to God I believe we will find true victory in Him!

Romans 12:21
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Hebrews 3:1
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

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