On Being Christian

Shift Your Focus

I love it when you get an entirely new perspective on an old, familiar story from the Bible. This morning I heard the most interesting devotional in our all-staff meeting which did exactly that. And frankly, I think God may have intended it just for me.

One of our younger pastors started with the story of John the Baptist, in prison in Matthew 11. He sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” Think about that. This is the same John who baptized Jesus, who recognized “one greater,” who saw the dove and heard the voice from heaven. Seriously!? Now he’s not sure?

But consider where he was – in prison. Our young pastor suggested that perhaps John had turned his focus to his circumstances, his surroundings, himself. When we’re in a cold, dark prison – that’s when the doubts creep in. Is Jesus really who he says he is?

Notice Jesus didn’t answer the question. He shifted the focus. He instructed the disciples to report to John “what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.”

In other words, it’s not about what’s happening to you, it’s about seeing what’s happening around you. You have to shift your focus from what you’re doing, to what God’s doing. (And when I say “you,” what I mean is… me.)

2 thoughts on “Shift Your Focus

  1. I don’t agree with this:

    “You have to shift your focus from what you’re doing, to what God’s doing.”

    God judges us by our actions – what we do is very important. God does not care about how much attention we lavish on him. What God is doing is not relevant to our own abilities he has graced us with. God gave us the free will to empower ourselves with actions that help people and improve their quality of life when ever possible.

    Sad you don’t understand this concept. Please read your bible again.


  2. I’m not sure we disagree… and there’s certainly nothing sad about this conversation. I appreciate you expressing your thoughts.

    God cares very much about having our attention on him, that’s a theme through the entire Bible. In this particular story, John seems to be focused on his own situation/circumstances. Jesus reminded him – as you said – that indeed, people were being helped to improved quality of life, blind seeing, lame walking. I think we actually agree – the focus is not on our own actions, but on using our abilities in Him to help others. Thanks for commenting.


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