Yes, we are living in a distracted world. It’s not a new problem, but rather something that’s been around since the beginning of time.
Distractions aren’t going away. In fact, they’re increasing and intensifying.
Paul warned young Timothy about the dangers of distractions and what he should do about them. (Read more about that in part 1 of this post.)
So, what should we do with distractions? How can we live in such a way that remains faithful to God’s Word? How can we ensure we aren’t being wooed away by the lies of the world?
Here’s Paul’s encouragement to us!
“But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5
To live undistracted, there are four things Paul says you need to do. Paul’s list wasn’t just whipped up on the spot. These are very strategic, practical, Holy-Spirt-inspired steps to guard yourself against distractions.
1) Exercise Self-Control
If you’re on a strict, no sugar diet, imagine the difficulty you’d face sitting in the middle of a donut shop. The smell of freshly-made donuts would be overwhelmingly enticing. One glance at that warm donut covered in a sugary glaze…I can taste it now!
How would you be able to overcome the distraction? You would need some self-control!
Where does self-control come from? It’s actually a fruit of the Spirit! You don’t just fabricate more self-control in your life on your own. Your self-control increases in direct proportion to your surrender to the Holy Spirit.Your self-control increases in direct proportion to your surrender to the Holy Spirit. Click To Tweet
We can overcome the distractions in our lives as we continue to yield to the Holy Spirit’s work within us.
2) Endure Hardship
There are countless distractions and false teachings. There is only one truth. If you are going to make the commitment to live undistracted by the many myths of the world, you must be willing to endure hardship.
Jesus prepared us for this when he said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14.
Did you notice how Jesus describes the road that leads to life?
If you aren’t willing to endure hardship, you will have a hard time following Jesus. You’ll find yourself tossed about by every new and changing doctrine. What’s true today will be false tomorrow.If you aren't willing to endure hardship, you will have a hard time following Jesus. Click To Tweet
I love this!
Paul is reminding us that if we want to remain true to the basic tenants of the gospel, then we must share the gospel. Telling others about the true life that is found in Jesus effectively becomes a reminder to us of the true life we have in Him.
The more we share the gospel, the more we ground ourselves in the gospel. The more we ground ourself in the gospel, the less likely we are to be distracted by what our itching ears want to hear.
4) Fulfill Your Ministry
No matter who you are, you have a ministry. Ministry is not just for a small, select group of paid pastors. If you follow Jesus, you are a minister, and that means you have a ministry.
Your ministry may be the students you teach at school. It may be the co-workers in your the office. Your ministry is how you invest your time at home, work, and play.
Our spiritual lives should not be segmented from our daily lives. Want to know the secret to not living distracted? Find your ministry. Focus on your ministry. Fulfill your ministry.