Distraction – “that which divides the attention.”
It’s my firm conviction that we are living more and more distracted. Our attention is divided between countless diversions and interruptions. Hang on just a second while I check this email….Okay, I’m back!
Think about your average day. How many distractions do you think you experience? A few? A dozen? Hundreds? Nope. Try thousands.
One study found that the average person is distracted every 40 seconds. We’re losing our ability to focus and concentrate. Our attention spans are getting shorter and our productivity is dwindling. Meanwhile, when you ask people how they’re doing, most reply, “Busy.”
Like a hamster on a wheel, we run in circles. We’re hustling, chasing, hurrying, buzzing, and frantically doing our best to keep up. But it never seems enough. It always feels like there’s more to do.
The outside appears busy, but the inside feels empty.The outside appears busy, but the inside feels empty. Click To Tweet
Distractions are not just a 21st-century problem. Since the garden of Eden, men and women have both been dealing with distractions. The fruit that Satan offered Eve was a distraction. The golden calf that Aaron crafted was a distraction. Even Jesus faced distractions when He was tempted in the desert. (He shows us how to overcome distractions through the truth of God’s Word!)
There’s nothing new about distractions. However, what might be new is the severity and frequency of distractions.
In Paul’s second letter to a pastor named Timothy, he warned the young disciple of the dangers of distraction. His warning isn’t about the distractions of email, text messages, or click-here google ads. Paul’s warning is directed at a much more dangerous distraction.
“For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 CSB
Paul’s not talking about the myth of Bigfoot here. He’s talking about the myth of false teaching. Teachings that are fiction, fake, made-up, false, and untrue. Teachings that dangerously lead people away from the life-saving, life-changing reality of Jesus Christ.
Looking for Lures
False teaching is rarely radical and extreme. More often, false teaching is only a slight variation from the truth. Just like the best fishing lures will closely resemble a real fish snack. They look the same, smell the same, and even sound the same. But the reality for a fish is life or lure; dinner or death.
If you pause long enough to look, you’ll see that people are being distracted by lures. Things that sound good, look loving, and seem just. Here are a few lures I personally hear on a regular basis.
- It doesn’t matter what you believe.
- All roads lead to heaven.
- We shouldn’t tell other people how to live.
- It’s my life. I can do what I want.
- It’s your life. Do whatever you want.
- If you don’t accept a person’s lifestyle, then you don’t love that person.
People may not be looking for Jesus but they are looking for truth. They’re searching for answers to the tough questions in life. Jesus doesn’t just have the answers, but Jesus is the answer.People may not be looking for Jesus but they are looking for truth. They're searching for answers to the tough questions in life. Jesus doesn't just have the answers, but Jesus is the answer. Click To Tweet
If you know Jesus, you know truth. (see John 14:6)
We must never shy away from proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. Like Paul, we must be wiling to boldly proclaim, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” Romans 1:16
In a world full of distractions, don’t live distracted. In part 2 of this article, we’ll share more about what Paul says to young Timothy about not living distracted.
Want to go deeper? Check out the very first message at Antioch Georgetown on Launch Sunday 2018. Dealing with Distractions