My step-father Pete died several years ago. I look back fondly on some of the lessons I learned from him – and something that he used to tell me a lot, “What you focus on gets bigger.”
Can you remember being a little kid and telling scary stories at camp or at a sleep-over – and then being so scared you couldn’t fall asleep? Or do you ever watch a movie and laugh, or cry along with the character? Or how about falling in love and you can’t think of anything except that person? What you focus on gets bigger.
I started to think about this in terms of my spiritual life. When I’m struggling with something in my life I know needs to change, my tendency is to focus on the problem.
Did you ever try to stop doing something and it just got worse? What you focus on gets bigger! If that’s the case, then how do we ever solve a problem? How do we stop gossiping, stop lying, stop looking to people instead of God for approval, stop being afraid all the time…?
Here’s the key – the focus thing doesn’t just apply to bad things – it applies to my focus on God as well. So if I choose to focus on God, He gets bigger in my life. Pretty simple, huh? But not always so easy to do!
So what’s the first thing I need to do when I identify sin in my life (something I know doesn’t please God)? Focus on God instead of the problem. Then humbly ask God (who actually has the power to make the change in me) to fix it. Stay focused on Him – and refuse to take my eyes off of Him. Hang around with people who love God, too. Listen to encouraging music or podcasts that keep my heart and mind focused. Stop talking about the problem, and focus on the solution.
Because whatever you focus on gets bigger!
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. – Colossians 3:2