“I really should be doing that history assignment right now… ” I thought to myself. But I was too far gone. Nothing could have held me back. I needed to know the truth. I clicked the link titled “Which Taco Bell menu item are you? QUIZ”, and my heart started to race. Filled to the brim with anticipation, I answered five or six questions that were completely unrelated to dirt-cheap, inauthentic mexican cuisine, only to find out that I’m a side dish of cheesy fiesta potatoes?! Ridiculous.
As evidenced by my susceptibility to clickbait, I am a very distractible person. And unfortunately, I’m not alone. We live in a day and age where there are a plethora of distractions around every single corner. Whether it be social media, friends, smart-phone games, school, or otherwise: we are distracted creatures here in the 21st century. The reason why is simple. We don’t know what to be focused on. It’s not a hard trap to fall into, really. There are so many influences that are incessantly grabbing for our attention, time, and focus that we often lose sight of those that actually matter.
Romans 8:5 tells us this: “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.”
We can be so set on what the flesh desires: pleasure, popularity, wealth, lust, etc., that we completely neglect making room for anything else. What should be coming first in our list of priorities sometimes doesn’t even make it onto the list at all. Soon enough, we don’t even recognize distractions at face value. They can take the form of hobbies, passions, schoolwork, social gatherings, and *gasp* relationships.
If God is not first in our lives, even good things can become distractions.
This reiterates what Matthew 6:33 says: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you also… “
This is the point where being a Christian can become difficult. We know that we need to be focused on God, but seeking God first means, well, putting everything else second. Having the discipline to put your desires aside and embrace God’s will for your life is something we all could use a lot of practice in. Although sometimes it’s easy to view living out God’s will as a monumental sacrifice, Paul reminds us that it is nothing but the best for us.
Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will… ”
If you aren’t influencing, you’re being influenced.
Unless you are actively living out Christ’s love and sacrifice in your daily life, you are being conformed to the world, like Paul warned against. Think of it this way. There’s two types of people: thermometers and thermostats. A thermometer is nothing more than a reflection of what transpires in its environment, but a thermostat functions with the sole purpose of altering its environment. Do not be a thermometer. Like the liquid inside actual thermometers, living your life like one is toxic. . So get out there and be a thermostat for Jesus; be a force of change for your Lord and Savior. This can take shape in ways as small as setting an example for a younger sibling, or as large as devoting your life to a ministry you feel called to.
If nothing else, take a few minutes out of your day and be present with God. If you are up for the task, do some soul searching. Recognize the distractions that distance you from God and assess the areas of your life in which you prioritize your desires over God’s will. And most importantly, strive to be an influencer for Christ in every opportunity He provides you with.
In the abundance of His blessings,
A side dish of cheesy fiesta potatoes...