How distracted are you these days? There are several reasons to lose focus. I have spent the last month (February) narrowing my focus on what really matters, not what the MSM want us to think matters. There are so many sources of misinformation that it is hard to know what to think, let alone what to focus our thinking on. The bible provides some helpful guidance on the matter of focus.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!Galatians 5:22-23
Further, Philipians 4:8 states:
Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.Philipians 4:8
What could be more noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy than love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? Will you take some time to focus on these fruits?
Love: Let our primary focus be one of love. Not the worlds “version” of love but God’s love.
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Joy: Where exactly can we find joy in so much joylessness? Is there really anything we can be joyful about? The answer is, absolutely! We focus our joy on what matters. What matters? God matters! In times of trouble focus on the goodness of God! Acknowledge the Lord is God! Give thanks for all of God’s blessings! Trust in the everlasting love of God!
Peace: There really is only one way to be at peace despite the troubles of the world. I am reminded daily that the peace I seek can only be found in my faith. Prior to Jesus crucifixion he sensed his disciples were worried and afraid. He went out of his way to console and reassure them. He said,
32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”John 16:32-33
Patience: Even when we know the outcome it can be hard to be patient. What about when we don’t know?
2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
Kindness: Being kind is hard, especially when there is so much unkindness. There is a great example of kindness found in the book of Ruth, Chapter Two. If you have not read this chapter, I urge you to do so. Kindness is helping others when they least expect it. It’s a kind word, deed or gesture. There are many who are struggling. Show them kindness.
Goodness: When we focus on goodness, we focus on doing what matters. It is said that goodness “is not a mere passive quality, but the deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good.”
It’s not easy but keep your focus on doing good in this world. When you do good, rest assured it makes a difference.
Gentleness: Have you ever met someone who literally epitomizes gentleness? I find these people to be incredibly attractive. I am envious of their ability to reflect such a spirit of gentleness. I remember such an experience when I was a nine year old boy in hospital. I was recovering from a rather painful and uncomfortable surgery. I recall laying on my side feeling sad and lonely. All of a sudden I felt a nurse rubbing my back. I told her she did not have to do that. Here reply, “I know. I want to.” A kindness I have never forgotten. Her name was “Grace.”
Self-control: There have been many times when I wish I had more self-control. I grew up an abused and bullied kid. I have little tolerance for abuse and bullying these days. Despite the many reasons why it would be easy to justify losing our cool but in the end it serves us well. If you ever have the pleasure of meeting a “Karen” maintain your self-control. Losing control will only encourage others that they control you.
Focus matters and what matters must be our focus.