Squirrels and Shiny Pennies

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  - Philippians 4:8

I don’t know about you but I get easily distracted. It doesn’t take much for my attention to turn to something else quickly. We all get distracted from the tasks of the day by the shiny penny on the ground or squirrel out the window. Sometimes distractions are good because they allow us a little time to reset and maybe experience the joy of the life that God has given. But what about the distractions of our Christian walk? 

In Ephesians 4:1 Paul urges us to “walk in a manner worthy of our calling to which we have been called.” What he means here is that we should remain focused on the life that Jesus has given us by living in such a way that we point to Him. But often we get distracted. We get distracted by our own desires and selfishness. These distractions can take many forms, like anger or bitterness that divides fellow believers. These distractions can take the form of a stagnant relationship with Jesus because we are too consumed with worldly priorities that we neglect gathering to worship, our prayer life and knowing God’s Word take a back seat. Or we get so consumed with our own opinions and desire for comfort that it pulls us away from the walk that we have been called into through the Gospel. 

So very often we get pulled into the distracted desires of our own heart that it absolutely consumes us. We convince ourselves that self pity is a good place to hang out. Or that the best joy we will experience is the worldly pleasure of the day. Or we convince ourselves that we are alone and no one really cares about us. None of this is true but yet we get distracted in believing it. 

Battling these distractions is a tough task but it can be done. The first step, like the old saying goes, is to admit there is a problem. We need to be honest with ourselves that these distractions that often come along are a change of focus off of Jesus and placed attention on us. We need to be honest with ourselves that when we rob Jesus of the focus and put ourselves in that place it never ends well. The Bible tells us over and over to put away all bitterness, selfishness, anger, jealousy, envy, and self righteousness and receive with meekness God’s truth. 

I love how the Apostle Paul instructs us  in Philippians 4:8. Such a simple reminder to stay focused on the right thing and not get distracted. The right thing is Jesus, not us. Jesus is true. Jesus is honorable. Jesus is just. Jesus is pure. Jesus is lovely. Jesus is commendable. Jesus is excellent. Jesus is worthy of praise. Let us stay focussed on following Him and not our own desires. Our walk will be better that way. 

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