Important stuff versus the distractions of just stuff…
I seem to have this continual mental battle regarding what is the best use of my time. What builds life and love versus loss and fear? What is a good cause versus a great and godly cause? What is God’s will versus my will? What is secular, of this world, and what is of His kingdom?
It takes discernment and wisdom and it reminds me of a story I was reading in the Scriptures just the other day.
The disciple Peter was being questioned by Jesus and he was confessing Christ by his repeated answering of the question, “Who do you say I am?”
Then Jesus begins to speak of His coming death, how He must be killed. Peter takes Him aside and, get this, “rebukes” Him. Wow, that took some nerve, but I get that it was a desperate plea on Peter’s part. Of course, this is where (and it seems out of character) Jesus tells Satan to “get behind” Him and for Peter to stop being a “stumbling block.”
Following this dialogue there is this partial sentence in which Jesus expresses something significant. He said, “…you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” (See Matthew 16:13-23.)
Bear in mind, Jesus had just told Peter that he was blessed and that his Father in heaven was revealing things to him. Apparently, this rebuke was not one of them.
Struggling with Which Cause to Fight For
It seems that every week or two our world has a new cause, a new band wagon, a new catastrophe to jump on depending on the crime or news attention of the day.
It is really easy to get caught up on social media with opinion, videos, responses and emotion. Perhaps we need to stop and reflect on Jesus’ words: what do we have in mind, the things of men or of God? Good things might not be God things.
And that’s where this word, distraction, comes in. Life is full of causes. Tomorrow and next week will be another headline. But as those who are called to reflect the mind and the image of Christ, we must seek first the kingdom of God and not be distracted by each and every cause of the day.
We do not want to be a stumbling block to anyone. Jesus also said that if we wanted to follow Him, we had to first deny ourself and then take up His cross. Many of the bandwagons of our day have no relationship with the cross.
Jesus’ final question in this passage concerning distractions was this, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?”
I do not think it’s the world’s gain or approval we are seeking.