Got your blinders on?

12 01 2008

You know what blinders are, right? I searched the web for a concise explanation of why people put blinders on their horses. I got what I was looking for from www.answerbag.com.

“Basically, blinders are used to keep the horse focused on what is in front of it. Since the horse can’t see everything in it’s peripheral vision, it keeps the horse from becoming distracted or scared. You will notice that blinders are used in situations where there may be a lot of distractions, such as public places.”

Hmmm. There’s a practical application in there for Christ followers and for those who are seeking. One of the most commonly expressed reservations I hear from those seeking meaning and from those who are new to their faith is: “What about all those people who call themselves Christians and who…” or “What about Pastor __________ who did ___________?” [fill in the blanks here] or “You know, Jim [or Sue or Bob] says he [or she] is a Christian and I see how he [or she] lives outside of church.” News flash — people are flesh. If you are basing your understanding of Christianity on human beings, you are focusing in the wrong place. Since people are flesh, they will disappoint. Now, as Christ followers we are absolutely called to act in a way that shows Christ living in us. And there are countless Christ followers who truly let their light shine and live in a way that others can see Christ in them. This is the goal for each one of us. But the unfortunate reality is that there are many who identify themselves as Christians but still struggle mightily with their fleshliness. And it is this particular type of fleshliness that becomes a snare for many.

The Bible clearly calls us to develop our relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and not through our pastor or our Christian friends and relatives — take advantage of your direct line to the One at the top. That is what I want to encourage you to do. In seeking to deepen your faith, take your eyes off the periphery and focus straight ahead. Dive headlong into God’s word, spend time in prayer and quiet communing with God. Put on your blinders (or noise-canceling headphones) and focus only on the Lord. Now, of course, this does not mean we should ignore our fellow man, we are certainly called to minister to the world around us and fellowship and accountable relationships are a very important part of the Christian walk. But be prayerful and mindful of how (to what extent) you view the world around you.  Though your feet are planted in this world, keep your eyes on Him. In Romans 12:2, Paul instructs us to not be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Being aware of your focus is an important step in a world filled with distractions.

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