YES, I REALIZE THAT THIS phrase is far from new or original. It’s been used often in book, article, and sermon titles. But truly, as never before, your mind and mine are each the focus of a pitched daily battle. Everyone, it seems, wants our attention—wants us to think about their stuff, their products, their needs, their cause, their points of view, their loyalties.
- Madison Avenue marketers want to snag our attention with their products and move us to exchange our money for those items.
- Preachers want us to focus on the things that matter to God.
- Our families want us to focus on them.
- Teachers hope we’ll pay attention to our studies.
- Our employer wants us to think just a whole lot of the day about our work.
- Political parties want us to side with their points of view.
- The doc wants us to think more about taking care of ourselves.
We’re surrounded by voices calling out to us—enticing us, commanding us, challenging us, inviting us, pleading with us, and yes, tempting us. And right now, I’d like to add to the hub-bub by suggesting you think of all the thousands of things that pass through your mind in any given day.
Remember that little ditty: “Good, better, best—never let it rest—till your good is better and your better is best”? Well, I’d like to suggest too that in this daily battle for your mind and mine, the great enemy in the tug-of-war called the “great battle between good and evil” doesn’t care if you focus on the good or even the better, if he can keep you from focusing your thoughts on the best.
The Bible says that before the great Flood, they were “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage.” Now, none of those things is intrinsically evil. God created us to eat, drink, and marry. But the pre-Flood residents of Earth didn’t do these things within a relationship with their Creator but instead of that relationship. Today, we have diversions aplenty in addition to eating, drinking, and marrying. For example:
- The entire world of politics and political “debate.”
- TV, with its “reality” shows and “idol”-style competitions.
- Money concerns—making it, keeping it, spending it, protecting it.
- Health concerns—coping with disease, trying to avoid disease, staving off the ravages of time.
Not all of these are “bad” (though some can be). But we each have only 24 hours in a day, and something will fill our thoughts and win the allegiance of our mind. The enemy doesn’t mind if we spend lots of time on the “good” so long as we don’t focus on the best. And the best? It’s that connection with our Creator and Savior that ensures not only our eternal life but our most abundant life now.
Today, the battle continues. Who today will win the thoughts and attention of your mind? Of mine?