Have you ever been talking to someone and suddenly did not know what was going on?
Do you daydream a lot?
Has anyone ever yelled at you for not paying attention?
Do you get bored easily?
If you answered yes to those questions, you may be easily distracted and you are not alone. Distractions are at an all-time high in our current culture.
As I am writing this article, my dog is barking, a roaster is relentlessly crowing, I got 3 text messages, 4 emails, 5 notifications, and I probably saw about 625 ads. It is believed that in 2023 people see an average of 10,000 ads every day. All are trying to sell you something. If you do this, you'll feel better. If you buy this, you’ll look better. If you download this, you’ll learn better. We live in a world God created, yet that same world denies him. So most of the 10,000 ads you see every day will probably not encourage your relationship with God. In fact, it will probably try to distract you away from God because the devil is in the distractions. So what is distracting you away from God?
We know that not all distractions are bad; the problem is we are filled to max capacity with distractions every day. Our busy lives cause us to miss time with God. Distractions can be dangerous to our overall well-being, and what we surround ourselves with is what we are going to be distracted by.
1 Corinthians 7:35 says, “I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.”
When Paul was writing this, he was talking within the context of married or single people. If you are distracted by wanting to get married, then get married. If you don’t think marriage is for you, then by no means do you have to get married to fulfill your purpose. However, his words are true within the context of everyday life. We need to set limitations for ourselves so we can serve God without constant unhealthy distractions.
What are some unhealthy distractions?
We could be distracted by comparison.
We could see someone else’s looks, fame, or financial status and spend our time in jealousy instead of gratefulness. If this is the case, carve out 5 minutes daily to thank God for all you have. If you don’t think that will change your heart, reflect on what 5 minutes of envy does to your attitude.
We could be distracted by lust.
Always wanting what we can’t have or wanting what’s next. Instead, take time to celebrate how far you have come and where you are in life now. Often times we forget all that we have overcome and push past the celebration and call it determination. You can be determined and content at the same time.
We could be distracted by pain.
Partying, sex, drugs, anything to numb the pain in order to escape hurt. God is the ultimate healer who can restore your soul. Spend time with him outside in his creation. Detox your mind and physically heal the only body he has given you.
Psalm 23: 1-3 says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength.”
God will restore you; social media, events, vacations, good food, and nice clothes are all great but do not have the capability to restore you.
Distractions can take you away from your ultimate mission to be a servant of Christ. When you are reviewing your distractions, ask yourself, is this helping or hurting my relationship with God? We will always have dogs barking, kids crying, and bills that need to be paid, but we do not have to spend hours on social media, consume endless alcohol, and jump to whatever's next that we miss the goodness that is right in front of us.
If the enemy can distract us from what God wants us to get out of life, then we cannot be the focused servants we are called to be. Reflect on your distractions and make changes to focus your mind on things above.
Colossians 3:2-4 says, “Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.”