Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3:2
Where is your focus? If you are anything like me, the answer to that question varies moment to moment. I would love to give you this glowing rendition of how wonderfully I keep my focus on Christ despite the chaos that swirls around me, but let’s be real.
At any given moment, my five year old son is trying to destroy himself or our home; my three year old daughter is clung to my side (or disturbingly absent!); there’s dinner to plan and an ever-expanding list of chores to complete. The word “Mommy” is being uttered at varying decibels approximately every 1.43 seconds. My head is on a swivel, constantly shifting between whatever is screaming the loudest for my attention. Christ sometimes gets lost in the mix.
I should know better, right? How many scriptures highlight where our focus needs to be? Philippians 4:8-9 gives us a list of things for our minds to dwell on.
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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:8-9
Look at the promise in the end if we keep our thoughts centered here! “The God of peace will be with you.”
In Romans 8, we find the contrast of life with our minds being focused on the flesh verses on the Spirit.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. –Romans 8:5-6
Again, what is the result of keeping our minds focused on the Spirit? Peace.
So, why do we so often fail to keep centered on Christ? We know the scriptures. We know the right answers. We know the promises. It’s a pretty simple cause and effect equation, and yet, we fail.
Why? One word. Satan
Satan is not going to be standing on the corner with a brightly lit, flashing sign and try to pull our thoughts away from Christ. It is pretty clear that we would want to stay away from that corner. When he is glaringly obvious, he is a little easier to avoid. He seems to be the master at creating scenarios that slither into our psyche without us really noticing.
Look at how he handled Eve in the Garden. He didn’t brightly adorn the forbidden tree. He didn’t try to force the fruit into her mouth. He approached her with the angle of “Did God REALLY say…” Slither. Slither. Slither. He creates the smallest of gaps between our psyche and our Spirit and works on us from there.
In our culture, the distraction factor is huge. Work demands, home demands, and the ever spinning hamster wheel of “keeping up.” I make a conscious effort to include Christ into each day, but then I get sidetracked. The kids are fighting. The floors need swept. Prep work for dinner needs to be done. The dogs need fed. Distract. Distract. Distract. Sooner rather than later, my thoughts get wrapped up in my to-do list and my focus on Christ slips from view.
So, the question that needs an answer is, “How do we prevent this?” It is something that takes a conscious effort and preparation.
For me, I have found listening to solely Christian music is hugely helpful. I don’t know about you, but songs pop into my head randomly throughout the day. When the only option for lyrics are things that point me to Christ, I find it easier to re-focus.
Another thing that has worked in the past, is to keep scriptures posted throughout the house. I bought some inexpensive plastic frames, printed scriptures on cardstock, and placed them in places where I spend a lot of time like next to the kitchen sink. Quick, short reminders to pull my mind out of the chaos and back into focus.
With a concerted effort, we can do a better job at keeping Christ at the center of our thoughts. We can reap the promised reward of peace.
Different things work for different people. Please comment below on what you find helpful! You never know, what works for you may be the very inspiration that someone else needs.
As always, if you have questions or want to study further, please feel free to e-mail me @ TheRefreshingWell@gmail.com.