Joining Lisa-Jo Baker for 5 Minute Friday. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking. Link back, and leave comments for other 5 Minute Friday writers.
Today’s Prompt: Focus
I once read something that Corrie ten Boom wrote. I don’t remember the exact words, but the gist was that following God is like looking in a mirror. If you move your eyes off the mirror the picture is gone. Her point was that the only way we can be more Christ-like is by focusing on Christ. No amount of self-discipline or devotion is going to make you more Christ-like unless your vision is actually fixed on Christ. As soon as you move your eyes off of Christ the focus becomes something other than him.
It seems so simple and obvious. Yet for me it was a revolutionary concept.
I am a rule-follower. Give me the guidelines and parameters of how to do something so I know exactly how to perform and what to expect. But I was so frustrated in my attempts to be more loving. The harder I tried to be more loving, the more frustrated, irritable, and hopeless I felt.
The short devotional by Corrie ten Boom showed me where my focus was. Even in my attempts to be more loving, the focus was on me. I am sinful and selfish and unable to keep God’s law. Seeing more and more of the depth and beauty of God’s unconditional love for me through Christ made the love flow naturally out of me. I see it in my kids too. When they feel unconditionally loved, they act loving.
The past few weeks my focus has been off. I have been distant from my husband. Easily irritated with my children. Quick to anger and frustration. I am trying to buckle down and change some habits through sheer force of will. Self-discipline is good, but without my focus on Christ it is all about me and destined to fail.
“If a sudden jar can cause me to speak an impatient, unloving word, then I know nothing of Calvary love. For a cup brimful of sweet water cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, however suddenly jolted.” -Amy Charmichael
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” – Jesus, John 15:4