Do you talk on your cell phone while driving? Do you text? An article in the newspaper, “Driving while distracted,”claims this is a growing danger as more drivers insist on using their cell phones and handheld devises. Last year, almost 6,000 people were killed and a half-million injured due to driver distraction.
Did you know there is a Biblical mandate against distraction? Paul says “be not anxious!” (Phil. 4:6). The word “anxious” is NOT exactly the same word we use today to describe the ‘clinically’-diagnosed problem of anxiety. The Greek word “anxious” is rooted in the word “divide,” meaning a divided or distracted mind. Jesus diagnoses Martha’s problem using this word: “Martha, Martha, you are worried…” (Luke 10:42). Martha was not having a panic attack: but she was terribly distracted by the details of dinner preparation.
Fortunately, Paul does not give the prohibition against “distraction” without offering the solution. The cure for distraction is FOCUS: “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right...pure and lovely and admirable...excellent and worthy of praise” (Phil. 4:9 NLT)…,“set your minds on things above” (Col. 3:2). Paul’s solution: “single-mindedness.” When Jesus spoke of Martha’s “distraction” He too pointed to single-mindedness: “you are distracted by many things but only one thing is necessary” (Luke 10:42). The “one thing” that mattered most that day was devotion to Jesus. Mary understood that.
And finally, Paul says Satan’s strategy in the Garden was to distract Eve from her single-minded devotion to God, followed by his warning: Satan will try to distract your minds from attention to Jesus (2 Co. 11:3). And his strategy remains unchanged. He will do everything to distract you in your quiet times of Bible reading and prayer. He will distract you with the things of this world—both good and bad. Be careful! These distractions can cause accident and injury. Distractions are a threat to your well-being!