Discovering the pitfalls and remedies to distracted thinking
We all want to be successful at whatever it is we are focusing on. Our Christian life is no exception, though the words we use to describe "success" are entirely different than with other endeavors. We want to be faithful – we want to live lives of sacrifice – we want to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. All of these things equate to the Christian version of experiencing victory in life. So, regardless of the words or the effort, how do we attain such an end? How do we “arrive”? One short phrase will get us started – be single-minded. Have your vision clear and your energy directed. It's not easy because most of us struggle with these very disciplines. It is far too easy to end up distracted and double-minded, to start something and not finish. It is far too easy rationalize our way out of triumph. Or even get confused as to what the right path is. How do we do it? How do we put habitual double-minded thinking behind us and reach forward towards true achievement?
The very fact that being a single-minded achiever is rare indicates that it will take uncommon effort and extraordinary perseverance to get there. One of the big issues every human being faces is that of focus and its source. We all have two primary focus centers: our heads – what we think – and our hearts – what we feel. Like it or not, these two centers for direction are more often than not fighting against each other. One quick example would be getting up early so you can go to the gym. Your head has verified the evidence – working out first thing in the morning is a key ingredient for better mental functionality and better physical health. Your heart however reminds you as your alarm goes off at 5:40am that you really need your sleep and it feels so good to just stay there! This brings a head versus heart dilemma of double mindedness. I know this because this example is my own weekday struggle.
In the first chapter of James, it says to “count it all joy when you encounter various trials.” Why would you be joyful or glad when you are having trouble? Because the joy you find is a result of bringing your head and your heart together. You create a single-minded approach when you acknowledge what you feel then take that emotion and put it behind what you know. This intentional and unifying action creates a singleness of purpose that has far more value and power than the sum of its parts. This is exactly what Jesus was able to do as he completed the unreserved sacrifice of his humanity for our sins!
Check out our April 9, 2018 podcast, “Am I a Double-Minded Christian?” and learn more. Find out what feeds the process of becoming single-minded and what breaks it down. Hear examples of how to be single-minded in all areas of life, from the private thoughts inside your head all the way to dealing with the world and its temptations. Single-mindedness is first and foremost a decision. Don’t wait to make it!
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