8 Concepts to Keep Your Focus

If you’re like me, you can easily become distracted.  You plan your day, you schedule everything out, and then you end up spending 37 minutes cleaning up your desk instead of working.  Then you have to use the bathroom, and as long as you’re up you might as well get some coffee, and you’re a little hungry so you grab something to eat.  Then you notice that the mugs aren’t quite straight, so you get them in order.  The next thing you know, you’re 7 projects behind.

Maintaining your focus on what matters takes a lot of self discipline.  It can be tough, especially if you work from home.  Fortunately we do have some guidelines.  And if you’re easily distracted by the garbage that is found online (Facebook newsfeeds, cat video websites, adult sites, and the like) then this is definitely something you need to pay attention to.  8 concepts that you can meditate on in order to keep your focus on what you need to get done.

Whatever is…

Our lives are bombarded with information every single day.  And like we were told when we were younger: garbage in; garbage out.

Here’s a way to put an intangible to a tangible.  Let’s suppose you want to lose weight.  So you decide that you’re going to eat a salad every single day.  For breakfast you have bacon, eggs, hash browns, a latte, and a short stack of pancakes (extra syrup).  For lunch it’s a Big Mac, large fries, apple pie, and a diet Coke (you’re watching your figure after all).  At dinner it’s fried chicken, loaded baked potato soup, a salad, and an extra large piece of cake.

If this was your diet, would you be surprised to find that you aren’t losing weight?  Absolutely not!  You ate nothing but junk all day long and your hope was to offset it with a salad at dinner.

Yet many of us want to fill our minds with whatever we want all day long, but as long as we had 15 minutes of reading the Bible and praying in the morning, then we’re all good.  Just as our bodies don’t work that way, our minds don’t either.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  Philippians 4:8 ESV

Paul gives it to us pretty straight here.  A list of “whatever’s” that will guide our thinking and help us to focus on things that matter, and things that uplift, rather than things that are junk.

Whatever is True – Are you promoting truth?  Or are you promoting lies, half-truths, twisted truths, or partial truths?  Are you reading and watching things that promote the truth?  Or junk that presents a skewed view of the world?

Whatever is Honorable – Are you promoting honor?  Or are you promoting things that are disgraceful?  Is what you are thinking about honoring others and the Lord?  Or giving you a laugh at someone’s expense?

Whatever is Just – Are you being just?  Or are you promoting things that give you gain at someone else’s expense?  Are your thoughts and actions focused on things that are fair?

Whatever is Lovely – Are you thinking about lovely things?  Or are you promoting those that at their core are ugly?  Are you using Facebook to read about lovely things, or dirty scandalous things?

Whatever is Commendable – Are you promoting that which is commendable?  Or would people see your thoughts and think they are scandalous?  Would you be ashamed of the websites you visit?  Are they filling your mind with poisonous images?

Whatever has Excellence – Are you thinking of excellent things?  Or is your mind filled with basic things?  Are your ideas and actions used to promote the well being of people; or to promote the well being of yourself?

Whatever is Worthy of Praise – Do you imagine a day filled with praise to our Lord?  Or would the things you fill your mind with cause our Savior to blush?  Are the news articles you read, and the TV shows you watch, causing you to praise other people?

Depending on which version of the Bible you have, the verse concludes in one of three ways.  Many say that you should think on these things.  Some say that you should dwell on these things.  And others say that you should meditate on these things.  The idea is the same across the board: fill your mind with so much good stuff, that there is no room for the negative, inappropriate, sleazy, and hateful stuff.

 

Where is your mind?











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