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Have you noticed little aches and pains increasing the more we “mature?”  Well, I went to a new doctor last week for a second opinion on my pesky aches and pains.  He confirmed I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and prescribed an anti-malarial drug for me to take.  No, I don’t have malaria, but one of the benefits of the drug prescribed is that it treats RA.  There’s a long list of side effects, some common, some not so common, among them “loss of focus and mental acuity.”  Believe me, I don’t need any added help with losing focus – my mind wanders enough I forget what I got up off the couch to do.

As I pondered this latest dilemma in this stage of life, I realized staying focused is important throughout life – school, career, relationships, but especially a person’s one-on-one with the Man Upstairs.  I read a great illustration this week:

“A young man went to his Pastor and said ‘Pastor, I won’t be going to your church anymore.’  The Pastor responded, “But why?’ The man said “Ah! I saw a woman gossiping about another member; a man that is a hypocrite; the worship team living wrong; people looking at their phone during service; among so many other things wrong in your church.  I’m fed up.” The Pastor replied, “OK. But before you go, do me a favor: take a full glass of water and walk around the church three times without spilling a drop on the ground. Afterwards, leave the church if you desire.’ 

The young man thought: too easy! He walked three times around the church as the Pastor had asked. When he finished he told the Pastor he was ready to leave.

The Pastor said, “Before you leave I want to ask you one more question. When you were walking around the church, did you see anyone gossiping?” The man replied ‘No.’  ‘Did you see any hypocrites?’ He responded, “No.” “Anyone looking at their phone?” “No.” The Pastor asked, “Do you know why?” “No.” The Pastor responded, “You were focused on the glass, to make sure you didn’t stumble and spill any water. It’s the same with our life. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, we don’t have time to see the mistakes of others. We will reach out a helping hand to them and concentrate on our own walk with the Lord.’”

I have to admit, this illustration struck me like a two-by-four square between the eyes.  How often have I pointed fingers of blame at others when the problem resides with me?  Staying focused is important.  What do you think?

Matthew 7:1-2           Do not judge so that you will not be judged.  For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”

Tagged: casting blame, eyes on Jesus, focus, judging others, mental acuity, mental agility

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