Focus in View
Come closer, a little more, can you see it? More importantly, do you understand it? See what; understand what you ask. Your focus. It is the thing we do but rarely see, the actions in which we engage but seldom fully comprehend. Our lives are always focused on something and even though we never give that focus much thought, it shapes our dispositions, it molds our demeanors it fuels our devotions and ultimately determines our eternal destination. When we think about focus, we conjure images of the eye or sight but in reality, focus has nothing to do with these. Focus is born and sustained in the mind; it is a product of our strongest desires. That which we want most or that after which we fervently seek. Focus is centering the mind on something or someone and holding it there. It is man’s most powerful weapon in accomplishing anything, no matter who you are. Scholastic brilliance or physical skill are futile without focus. Renowned motivational speaker, author and salesman Hilary Hinton “Zig” Ziglar is quoted saying: “I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.” (Mueller 2020)
Furthermore, focus is also impartial. She yields the same results to everyone regardless of creed, ethnicity, social or economic standing. That being the case, a laser-like focus will aid in successfully accomplishing righteousness or sin. The builders of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) were focused on their endeavor, and that focus caused great success albeit sinful. They were purpose-driven in all the wrong ways (Cf. Genesis 11:6). Yet, the same focus is seen in the apostle Paul, but for godliness. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus, Philippians 3:13-14. Focus can shape us into successful sinners or saints.
Therefore, I reiterate my initial question. Can you “see” your focus? Where is it, how has it changed or affected you? Has your focus helped you become a fruitful saint or a flourishing sinner? As our Creator, God intimately knows the scope of our capabilities when properly focused. Thus, He gave us a plethora of commands and principles to ensure that our focus is fixated on the right things. In this writer’s estimation, a summation of these commands and principles is found in the epistle to the Colossians. If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God, Colossians 3:1-3. (Emphases MS) These verses are not a prohibition on being focused on the things in this life, things righteous or indifferent before God. However, it is an injunction against a disproportionate and unrighteous focus.
Since we have been raised to newness of life, our primary focus ought to be on the things of God. Everything else must take second and third place in our hearts and sin should not place at all (1 Thessalonians 5:22). A good way to determine where your focus lies is to survey and weigh your thoughts, activities, and attitudes. Right now, what are the things that occupy your mind the most? Is it the cares, riches, or pleasures of this world (Luke 8:14) or is it a concern for righteousness or right living (Psalm 119:15)? Where do you spend most of your energy and time? Is it in the pursuit of godliness (1 Timothy 6:11) or the pursuit of self-gratification (Ephesians 2:1-3)? What do you love, what do you cherish, and in what do you find joy (Cf. Matthew 6:21)? An honest evaluation of these questions will give one a proper perspective about one’s focus.
All of humanity is focused on something or someone. Done right, that focus will undoubtedly bring them to where they want to be. The question the Christian must ponder is whether the things on which we are focused will bring us to where God wants us to be. That being the case, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, set your focus on it (Philippians 4:8)!
Mueller, Steve. “The 30 Most Inspiring Focus Quotes.” Planet of Success, 1 May 2020, www.planetofsuccess.com/blog/2016/inspiring-focus-quotes/.