Why Your Focus Matters
“His followers discussed the meaning of this, saying, ‘He said this because we have no bread.’ Knowing what they were talking about, Jesus asked them, ‘Why are you talking about not having bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your minds closed?’” (Mark 8:16-17, NCV)
When you focus on the wrong things, you miss what God is doing in your life.
When your attention is only on the here and now, you miss God’s long-term plan. When you just think about comfort, you miss out on character. When you concentrate on happiness, you forget holiness. When you just want to enjoy the moment, you may not prepare for eternity.
When you’re thinking is short-term, you miss seeing the spiritual work God is doing all around you.
This is what happened to the disciples in Mark 8. The Bible says, “Then Jesus left the Pharisees and went in the boat to the other side of the lake. His followers had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat; they had forgotten to bring more. Jesus warned them, ‘Be careful! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod’” (Mark 8:13-15 NCV).
But the disciples missed the point: “His followers discussed the meaning of this, saying, ‘He said this because we have no bread.’ Knowing what they were talking about, Jesus asked them, ‘Why are you talking about not having bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your minds closed?’” (Mark 8:16-17 NCV).
Using yeast as a metaphor, Jesus was trying to teach his disciples a lesson about pride. But they didn’t understand the deeper meaning -- they thought he was talking about lunch!
While Jesus was talking about the need for maturity, his disciples were talking about their next meal. That’s short-term thinking.
Whenever you’re thinking short-term, you can’t see the larger picture of what God is doing in your life. So ask God today to give you a glimpse into eternity and to help you experience the hope that comes from seeing his long-term plan.
Talk It Over
What would long-term thinking look like in your family? Your career? Your spiritual walk?
What are some practical ways you can keep a long-term, eternal mindset throughout your day?
Where are the places you see God working in your life?
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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