The Self-Focus Trap…


Assuming you are a logical person, it would appear the more you focus on yourself, the happier your life would become. So much is written concerning the need to take care of yourself, refuel yourself and make time for yourself and most of it is probably good. But, what if incessant focus on yourself produces the exact opposite results than you intended? What if your focus on self can actually be detrimental? Is it possible that your sincere focus on improving yourself actually impedes you from making any progress? Are you looking in the right direction or have you unknowingly become distracted? Is perpetual focus on self a trap?

Most things in life that cause us to stumble do so because we are unaware of the true cause and effect relationship at play. We spend our lives trying to rid ourselves of some negative effect by focusing on the wrong cause. In so doing, our efforts are squandered away chasing apparent realities that are not realities at all. We exert tremendous efforts to remedy our situation but find no remedy, not because life is too hard, but because we have the wrong focus. This is the very essence of deception. We fall prey to it so easily because we trust what people say and laud those opinions over the truth. We trust our always self-centered logic and conclude we can figure it out. We are loathe to admit that we cannot! If you have a problem and let’s face it, we all do to some degree, it is so because we have not yet touched upon the right solution. In earnest, we seek for a solution and subsequently apply a hundred-fold recommendations, never entertaining the idea that the solution escapes our comprehension. In this, we waste our lives and our time caught up in an endless cycle of error, working harder, trying harder, exerting more effort towards something that will never yield the right result. In short, our starting premise is wrong as evidenced by our inability to find the answer; the real cause of our problems.

It has been said that the things man produces always reveal the imperfections of man, while the things God produces have no flaws in them. No matter the human masterpiece, closer inspection reveals imperfections. Conversely, the things God makes not only have no flaws in them, but the closer the inspection the more perfection is discovered. Similarly, the more you seek to understand God, the more His perfection becomes apparent. Yet, the closer you inspect corruptible man and his ways, the more imperfections you will find. When you spend your time dwelling on and investigating your human ways, no matter how noble your motives, the more you will find your own imperfections and flaws. You will never find perfection within yourself, no matter your sincere efforts and arduous labor. Instead, you will find more and more not to feel good about and more areas of your life in need of revision. You think it is noble and pleasing to God that you spend your life trying to make your imperfections righteous, but your starting premise is already wrong; namely that you by your human efforts can make your imperfections perfect. In this, you waste your time and in this you waste your life. How many Christians spend their days in endless self examination, ever condemned and disapproved, ever conscious of their human flaws and shortcomings, ever defeated by an insidiously wrong starting premise? To the mainstream Christian, every action is wrong, every thought corrupt, every motive questioned. All enjoyments are to be examined and all concepts of fun are to be rigorously discarded and rejected. Yet, in this they persist to their own misery and lack of true fulfillment all based upon a starting premise that isn’t true; that was never true.

God’s job is to fix the things we cannot fix for ourselves. We were all born with a sin nature that is easily corrupted. Our natural tendency, after the fall of man and the introduction of sin to mankind, is towards error. It is in our blood. The more you search within yourself, the more apparent it becomes. Yet, instead of investing so much effort to fix it, we need to let God fix it for us. God’s solution for us was to provide a perfect man, without sin in his blood, who by the freedom of his own will, walked and lived God’s Word perfectly. He is our savior who saved us from ourselves. He ended the need for us to fix ourselves; repair ourselves and SPEND All OF OUR DAYS FOCUSING ON OURSELVES and everything we do and don’t do right. He made it possible for us to stop dwelling on what isn’t right with us and change our subject of focus to Him and what He did for us. We are right because He (not we by human efforts and hard damn work) made us right in His sight. And as contrary to human logic as it appears, our focus is to no longer be on what isn’t right with us, but rather on who God and what He made us to be.

Sounds so simple because it is true. Our job, your job is stop focusing on yourself and stop working so hard to figure out your own problems. Read that again! You won’t figure out these life dilemmas; these life suckers by your human intellect and strength of will! How has it been working for you thus far? Instead, give your issues to God, one by one and let Him do God’s job by getting you to the real solution. He already knows the real cause! In so doing, now you are beginning to think how God designed you to think! Self-focus and dwelling on self do not produce the results you desire. They just steal away your life and enthusiasm and energy on false causes you cannot truly effect. Get your focus off yourself and your issues and get God involved with your solution. Self focus is a trap from which God will gladly help you escape… Free yourself!

Just some good thoughts…

Solving Your Problems…in the Light


bc26eadfb2bd120634d391866cf270fbHey you, you got a problem? Yeah man, I got a few problems and I’m not sure how to solve them! Maybe not the response you’d expect when the aforementioned question is usually posed in a moment of bravado. But, if you’re honest, you know you’ve got a few and they are dragging you down! By definition a problem becomes a problem because you don’t know how to solve it. Sure, you’ve given it a lot of thought. Yes, you’ve tried to overcome it but you are just stuck and you know it. So, let me shed some light on how to solve your problems because you need to solve them!

Let me start by saying I’m just like you. Yeah I love God and yes I’m connected to the Source of all goodness. But, like you I get caught up in my own issues. Some I’ve had for years. Some I invent to ruin a day. Some just go beyond my ability to figure them out. Some days I’m living in a peaceful nirvana and other days I’m wandering in the desert. It’s just how life is and to think otherwise is just foolish. We all have our very own personal antagonist whose job it is to drive us “nucking futs!” None of us enjoy it and all of us wish it would just stop. But sadly, it won’t stop until we learn to overcome it! God never promised life would be annoyance free. He promised that we would always have “the answer” we needed to overcome the challenge. Now there’s a day coming when those challenges will be forever gone, but that day aint today!

Our annoyances and problems come in many forms. Some are temporal like my foot hurts and I wanted to run today. Others are more long-standing and are going to require some humility on our part to overcome. Imagine that something is hurting in your body (like my foot). While the pain is going on, you can be assured the pain issue is going to be in the forefront of your thinking. That’s why you have the pain. You are being skillfully alerted to an issue that needs to be remedied. But, what about your more longstanding dramas? The ones that make you ponder, why do I always do…such and such, when I already know I hate it? The famous Apostle Paul said it best. To paraphrase he (actually God) said, “The things I know I should do, I don’t do and the things I hate, those I constantly do!” What a conundrum, huh?

You probably aren’t aware of it but all of us believer types have something called an old man nature. He’s best characterized by one prevailing attitude, namely, “You can’t tell me shit!” LOL forgive me. Said in more polite terms, “I think I already know the answers!” The great difference between the know it all you and the happy-go-lucky 8-year-old (my grandson Braylon) is that he knows he doesn’t already know and wants to learn and you already know and are thus closed off to learning. Everyone’s problem, everywhere, can be summed up in that simple statement. There is a solution to EVERY dilemma you have ever found yourself in, but you have to become humble with the heart of a child to get your answer!  Yes, you need to read that again! I’m not sure how we got so damn smart, but trust me, we aren’t very smart at all.

God, the originator of life, knows the solution to every stupid thing that ever dragged you down. He knows why your foot hurts; why your heart hurts and why you aren’t happy. He sees through all of the malarkey and disguises. He also suffers while His precious children suffer, trudging down the same roads with the same predictable outcomes. But, in order to rescue you from yourself, He needs some cooperation on your part. He needs you to humble yourself. Not humble in the religious sense whereby you whip yourself into supposed submission. Humble in the true sense where you finally admit you do not know! Those little admissions go a long way in getting to you to the mountain tops!

The starting point in overcoming your problems is to get to the light! Not get to the answer, but get to the light. Turn a light on so you can finally see something. What does God say about your situation? What does God’s Word say about how you have been thinking? Life is spiritual and often the source of your problem is something you’ve never even considered. You just don’t see the connection. So, you have to shut the old guy up and think something different. Now don’t you get all puffy and tell me you have to exercise more discipline! Are 8 year old’s disciplined? The solution isn’t more crap you have to do to somehow measure up to God’s solutions. The solution is in opening your weary heart to something bigger and smarter than yourself! Your answer will be found in your humility.

Moses was the most meek guy on the planet and God spoke to him face to face like a man speaks to his friend. Trust me, that is something that you want! God cares about every aspect of your life. From insomnia to foot pain to heartfelt fulfillment, He cares and has your answer. Your job isn’t to find a way to limp along. Your job is to get to the solution so you can be whole in every aspect of your being. In that abiding wholeness you will have found God and there’s nothing better than that!

Do you find yourself overwhelmed lately? Is life starting to get you down? Are you struggling to muster up a smile on your face? Well, something has gone wrong folks and you need to find the answers. Don’t numb yourself with too many drinks or the television or whatever else gives you a reprieve from thinking. Instead humble yourself like the heart of a child. Admit you don’t know and that you are struggling. You may be adept at lying to other people, but don’t lie to yourself (or worse, to God). Complain to the management people because the ultimate Manager knows the solutions!

Hey you, you got a problem? Well, yes actually I do, but God has got my solution?

Just some good thoughts…