Today, more than ever, we seem to have a problem with staying focused, Christians included. Distractions have become a way of life. They have become an excuse for us to be busy and unfocused. Even worse, they have become a remedy for many of the things that plague us daily. At some level, we acknowledge that distractions aren’t necessarily a good thing. We call something a distraction when it takes us away from something important. But we also have a category for “good” distractions. Things that take us away from something painful or frustrating. We often turn to things like entertainment or ungodly relationships to numb us to the things we are going through.
Why Do We Get Distracted?
One of the top reasons we become distracted is because we are trying to avoid some issue in our lives. It can be easier to ignore our sin by distracting our minds with worldly things. Sometimes we distract ourselves because we are running from something that has caused us pain and burden. But distractions only make these matters worse and push us further from receiving the freedom and healing we desperately need.
When Martha was found distracted with much serving, Jesus revealed the truth behind it. She was “anxious and troubled about many things.” Martha suffered from the distraction fueled by her worry about unimportant things. Jesus pointed out that spending time with him was what was truly important.
We have our very human and sinful nature to blame for our distractions. Since the fall, we have become accustomed to it. The events leading up to Eve’s disobedience and her subsequent distracting of Adam tell us this. Distractions take us away from what is important: our true purpose. When Eve became deceived and distracted from God’s command in the Garden, sin entered into the world.
What Does Distraction Do?
Distractions take away something that all Christians should see as precious, time. When we are constantly being distracted, we waste the time God has given us for His purposes.
‘Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.’ Ephesians 5:15-16
Separates Us from God
Distractions not only waste valuable time but they cause us to be separated from Jesus. James 4:8 tells us that we are to draw near to God and he will draw near to us. Distractions cause us to move farther from him. Instead of being in his word and prayer, we find ourselves doing things that numb our senses.
We must admit that distraction is not just something that we need to have under control but something that we must be delivered from.
Since it is a part of our sinful, human nature, we also must be aware that distractions will always come back to haunt us. But God can use things that are a part of our nature, such as distraction, as a tool to reveal our hearts. When distraction comes around, we need to be willing to ask ourselves “why.”
Why am I feeling distracted, and what does my heart truly want to be distracted from? Maybe we’ve avoided our alone time with God because we are ashamed of the sin that we feel convicted about. Perhaps you are distracted because there is a task God has called you to that you are trying to avoid out of fear. Maybe there are relationships in your life that need to be reconciled, but out of anger and pride, you distract yourself not to have to deal with it.
Whatever the case, distraction reveals things in our hearts: envy, pride, pain, fear, laziness, etc. The list could go on. We all get distracted, but to be delivered from the truth behind our distractions, we must ask ourselves, why? Then, we can be in a better position to have God deliver us from the things that draw us far from him.