Turn My Eyes Away from Worthless Things

Monday – Proverbs 4.23-27. This passage is stocked full of wisdom. What is the author trying to help his readers do? Ask the Lord to reveal where you are focusing your attention these days. What or who has your attention now? Is that a good thing? Is there anything that you are allowing to capture your attention and pull you away from paying attention to what is ultimately important? At this point in your life, how can you “above all else, guard your heart?”

Tuesday – Matthew 14.24-31. Here’s a good illustration of the truth that what, or who, we focus our attention on directly impacts our direction in life. Let’s give Peter our respect. Unlike eleven of his friends, he got out of the boat. He took a risk. At first, his attention was totally fixed on his dialogue with Jesus. But, on what did Peter ultimately fix his eyes, and what was the result? Using this story as a metaphor for your life, is there a dimension of your life where you need to refocus your attention on the teachings of Jesus?

Wednesday – Hebrews 2.1-4. The author of this letter was addressing Jews who had come to faith in Jesus as the Messiah. However, “their attention had been diverted away from the teachings of Jesus. They had begun to drift, careening towards things that had captured their attention. Like a good driver’s education teacher, the author urged them to get their eyes back on the road in front of them. Attention determines direction, which determines destination” (Andy Stanley, The Principle of the Path). It’s astounding to realize that the God of the universe actually cares about the direction and quality of your life, isn’t it? He is for you! He wants our attention to be on him and his teachings, knowing where well-placed attention will lead us—to living an eternal “Kingdom of God” kind of life, both now and in the future.

Thursday – Revelation 3.14-22. In this passage, the church at Laodicea was receiving their “performance review,” so to speak. It wasn’t positive, was it? They had let their attention be captured by another love and had drifted significantly away from Christ. They were prideful, loved money, and thought they had no shortcoming or destination of ruin. Yet, there still was hope for them. They were given the opportunity to change their pattern of thinking and return to Christ’s way of thinking and living, that is, to repent. Has anything or anyone captured your attention that has no business being part of your life? Jesus offers repentance and renewal, even when we’ve gone the wrong direction. His call is one of urgency.

Friday – Psalm 119.33-37. The psalmist asks God for help in focusing on things of ultimate worth and value. Why are we exhorted to pray such a prayer? “Because if I focus on worthless things, I’ll be drawn in the direction of worthless things. Every one of us can recall a time when our attention was on something that turned out to be a waste of time. King David certainly knew that all too well. Every day we are tempted to allow our minds, our eyes, our attention to drift toward and run the risk of being captured by worthless things. Things that have the potential to lead us down paths we will regret taking” (Andy Stanley, The Principle of the Path).

Saturday – Proverbs 4.23. Today, we return to the opening verse of Monday’s passage. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well-spring of life.” Today, invest time examining your heart, the real you. Is there anything that you are allowing to draw you away from the love of God? How would you finish this simple prayer, “Above all else, dear Lord, … .”?