“And this I say for your own profit, not that I may put a leash on you, but for what is proper, and that you may serve the Lord without distraction.”
1 Corinthians 7:35
Driver distraction has become epidemic, as drivers focus on calling, texting, selecting stations and the like. Maybe you are just engaged in deep conversation with someone else in the car or just looking at a beautiful sunset. Whatever the reason, driver distraction was cited as the cause in sixteen percent of all traffic fatalities last year, which killed more than five thousand people.
Webster’s Dictionary describes distraction as an act of separation or drawing apart and something that diverts attention. It is a process when our focus or attention is called in different ways.
In First Corinthians, Paul admonishes us “attend upon the Lord without distraction.” Like focusing on our driving, Christians need to be spiritually focused. And like driving where when we are distracted we can have an automobile wreck, when we are spiritually distracted, we are in danger of having a spiritual wreck.
The opposite of distraction is focus. We must focus to keep from being distracted. While it is inevitable that we will become distracted in life, it is most important that we remember to stay focused on God and His ways. I love to see people wearing the WWJD reminder wrist bands, because that identifies them as someone who approaches life’s decisions based on what would Jesus do. As Christians there are a number of ways to counter inevitable distraction. Be daily in His Word and pray when you wake up, as you pray when you lie down and at times in between. Steer clear of the areas and ways that lead us to distraction. It’s not always easy, but we can always have God’s help. He is but a prayer away.
First, recognize your distractions. What typically distracts you? Do you get caught in power struggles, control games, worrying, caretaking others, complaining, people pleasing, or solving problems that don’t yet exist? When you bring awareness to your common distractions they will have less power over you.
Second, focus on your higher purpose. As you go through your day, ask yourself what’s most important. Define your purpose for the day and stay focused on that. Let distractions move into the background from your higher purpose. In writing to the Philippians, Paul says to think about whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy.
Put your time and energy into spending time with the Lord every day. Listen to and learn from Him. If you will do this, your life will produce incredible spiritual fruit. Don’t have a spiritual crash because you are spiritually distracted.