Be wary of distractions away from God

An epidemic of distracted driving plagues the nation’s highways.

Ford Motor Company runs a Human Machine Interface Verification Laboratory-nicknamed “Distraction Lab.” Scientists use new technologies to determine the best ways to limit driver distractions.

Common diversions include text messaging, applying make-up, reading the newspaper, talking to passengers, eating lunch, operating the GPS, etc. As experts seek solutions to the problem, the victims of distracted drivers mount.

The opening verses of Matthew 18 serve as Jesus’ distraction lab.

He expressed concern about distracted people and the victims they leave in their wake. He warned, “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!” (v. 7)

This statement arose out of a discussion among the disciples about greatness. A craving after greatness sidetracks believers. When you think too much of yourself, the value of other people diminishes in your eyes.

How can you avoid the distraction of self-importance? First, practice childlike humility. A humble individual admits how inadequate they are without God’s help.

Second, see other people through the eyes of the God who created them. The old slogan goes, “God don’t make no junk.” If that’s true, God deems one person to be as valuable as the next.

Third, take drastic action to remove from your life those things that cause other people to stumble. Jesus said to pluck out your eye or cut off your hand to avoid offending others. This illustrates how far Christians should go to avoid being a negative influence.

Go to Jesus’ distraction lab occasionally to allow Him to remind you of your responsibility to be a positive influence for Him.

Avoidance of distractions from that purpose serve you and those around you well.

Darryl Wood is the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Vincent. He can be reached at dwood132@fbcvincent.org.