“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
A few years ago I was diagnosed with a disorder that includes with it regular intervals of diplopia. If you’ve not heard that word before, it is the medical term for double vision.
The graphic above gives you a pretty good idea of what that looks like. Needless to say, when that is happening, reading is a pretty tough slog. After all, we are designed to only be able to focus on one thing at a time.
This second image depicts how that works. You can focus on the woman’s hands, but not on her face. And if you were to focus on her face, her hands would be blurry.
But make no mistake, this is how God designed us. We are meant to be people of single focus. One of the lies of our age which eds up fragmenting, exhausting and frustrating us is the lie that we should all be multi-taskers. I don’t think that’s a good thing.
So it is I note from our text today 2 quick things:
1 – We cannot focus on the news of the day, regardless of the outlet, and do what our text calls us to at the some time. One or the other will have to be blurry. And it is up to you and me to make the choice. Continually. What will we give our hearts and minds space and time to focus on? And if is network, internet, print, radio podcast or whatever platform “news”, if that is what we focus on, be sure that whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, excellent and worthy of praise – will be blurry, out of focus, and growing less and less distinct in the soul.
2 – What a privilege we Believers have to live lives with souls fed from the Fountain of life. That when we are drinking from the rivers of living water, we lose our thirst for the polluted streams of this fallen world and age. Think for a moment how peace, joy, confidence, love, compassion and steadfastness in heart and mind spring from training ourselves to “think about these things” that the Apostle Paul says we have learned, received and even seen lived out in the saints. i.e. what it means to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
If you are a person of little peace today – filled with the dread of everything your news outlet pours into you – stop and focus on something else. “Think about these things.” Set your mind on the person, finished work and promises of Christ.
You can only truly focus on one thing at a time. What will it be today?