“Why are you yelling at me?! Calm down.” Martin stared in disbelief at his brother George, who had been raving like a madman. They had been working on the car for two weeks and all George seemed to focus on was Martin’s mistakes. Martin bought the car as a gift for his brother and also something for them to do together. George didn’t spend much time thinking about that, he became increasingly frustrated that Martin was slowing down their progress.
In any relationship it is important to invest more time thinking about the positives than the negatives. It is a principle of life that what we think upon we empower. If you spend all your time going over and over all your past hurts and mistakes, then you likely will feel downhearted more often than not. On the contrary, if you invest time in being grateful and constantly counting your blessings in life, over time you will become a considerably more optimistic person.
It is very easy to focus on the wrong things and when it comes to our relationship with God, sometimes we do exactly that.
We tend to focus on our faults, failures and shortcomings. At least, speaking for myself, I do. When I blow it and sin, or don’t live up to my own expectations I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about it and feeling bad. It’s a self-inflicted punishment that I feel is deserved. The trouble is sometimes it goes too far. Sometimes I am so wrapped up in my faults that when I go to pray, I feel blocked, unworthy and have a mental image of God staring down on me with disapproval deep in His eyes.
Of course, I don’t really believe that’s what God is like. So much of what we struggle with would be minimized if we would, instead of focusing on ourselves, focus on Jesus. Are you captivated by the one you love? Do you spend time dwelling upon the goodness of God? Do you ever sit and think about how much you love Jesus?
I happen to have known several teenage girls in my life time who would sit around and just list all the amazing qualities of their crush until everyone around them is like, “Ok we get it, can we talk about the biological construct of humanity now, cause literally anything would be a more fun conversation than this.”
Do you ever talk like that about Jesus? Do you even like Him? What would happen if the church not only had a crush on Jesus, but was so deeply in love with Him that He consumed our every thought? I think there would be a transformation.
When you’re in love with someone, you highest aim is to satisfy their deepest desires. What if instead of trying so hard to fight against ourselves, we invested effort into dwelling upon and deepening our love for Jesus? After all Jesus said that the proof of our love was obedience, not that if we obey we will love.
John 14:15 (ESV)“If you love me, you will keep my commandments…”
Obedience is the natural byproduct of loving our Lord. Another side effect of love is opening our mouths to tell the world.
Psalm 96:1-3 (ESV) Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! 2 Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. 3 Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
Let us make every effort today to shift our focus away from ourselves and our shortcomings. Let us focus on the love of the Lord and developing and deepening our love for the Lord. After all, He is not in Heaven with a list reminding Himself of our faults, no, He chooses to remember them no more. Let us follow His lead, and let His love wash over us and fill us with joy.
Isaiah 43:25 (ESV)“I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins…”