Does your attention span far and wide? Perhaps it’s time to shorten our attention span and focus more on Jesus. Otherwise our thoughts and opinions may be shaped by the world instead of by the Word.
All of us are shaped and molded by someone. But there’s only one mold by which every Christian should be shaped—the mold and model of Jesus Christ. We’re to be stamped with His image and shaped by His Spirit. The apostle Paul said, “And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NLT).
In his paraphrase of Romans 12:2, J. B. Phillips said, “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within.”
Don’t Let the World Squeeze You Into Its Mold
If our attention span is too wide, we’re in danger of letting the world press us into its mold. There’s a risk of becoming more like our culture than our Christ. But I’m not merely thinking about forces that are obviously evil—the curse of drunkenness, the plague of pornography, the cultural attacks on faith and biblical standards, the blight of materialism. Those are certainly temptations to avoid. But we must also avoid being molded into the image of the subculture of our particular churches or denominations. There may be nothing wrong with those environments—but we only have one Person into whose image we’re to be molded, and that’s Christ!
The church in Corinth had a wide attention span. They drank up the teachings of Paul; they were swayed by the passion of Peter; they devoured the lectures of Apollos. But somehow the various groups within the congregation became more conformed to the images of Peter, Paul, and Apollos than to Christ. “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed…?” asks 1 Corinthians 3:5. “You are Christ’s” (verse 23).
Whenever strong mentors enter our lives, we’re often influenced to become like them, which is not always bad. However, if our attention span is too wide, we’ll have a lot of voices speaking into our brains—and we’ll begin thinking as they think.
That might be alright—if they think the way Jesus thinks. But remember Paul’s admonition in 1 Corinthians 11:1: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” The real model is Christ. I’ve met some Christians who were more like their church or denomination than they were like Christ. They reflected their cultural subset more than they reflected Jesus. This was the problem with the scribes and Pharisees of Christ’s day. They became absorbed in their cultural Jewish clique and were blinded to the simplicity of Jesus.
But Let God Remold You From Within
The Bible says, “‘Who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” If our attention is on Jesus, we’ll increasingly become like who He wants us to be. We’ll have the values found in the Scripture; we’ll act the way a true Christian should act; we’ll love as Jesus loves.
Jesus told His followers, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me” (Matthew 11:29). Peter said that Christ left us an example, that we should follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). That means turning down the volume around us and getting serious about studying His Word and walking in the fullness of His Spirit.
Jesus is first—always. The Bible says, “He is before all things …. that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:17-18).
He is the Truth. We are only correct in our opinions when they correspond to His realities.
He is the Light. Those who look to the Lord are radiant (Psalm 34:5).
He is the Comforter. No one ever cares for us like Jesus.
He is all you need. Colossians 3:11 says, “Christ is all.” When He is first, we have all we need.
When we’re too involved with the voices of our secular world, we’re letting our minds be molded by a thousand forces. Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your mind from within (Romans 12:2). Maybe it’s time to shorten your attention span and focus more on Jesus.
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of
Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
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