From my reading in 1 Corinthians 7:20-40 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
Life Is Short!
Paul warns us to not get to distracted with less important things and forget to live for eternal things.
“But let me say this, dear brothers and sisters: The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage. Those who weep or who rejoice or who buy things should not be absorbed by their weeping or their joy or their possessions. Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.” 1 Cor 7:29-31
Paul lists some things that can distract us from God’s purposes. Several of these things are great things that are gifts from God. But when things of the world become more important to God they can become idols. Here are 4 possible distracters thet can derail a lot of people.
1. Focusing on your marriage more than your relationship with God.
“The time that remains is very short. So from now on, those with wives should not focus only on their marriage.”
Marriage is the most important human relationship, but it is not more important than your relationship with God.
Some people don’t follow God wholeheartedly because they are more focused on having a perfect family. This strategy actually backfires because a family needs to have God at the center to be truly healthy.
This is one reason Paul preferred to be single.
“I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided… I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.” 1 Cor 7:32-34a, 35
A single person can single-heartedly focus on serving Jesus.
It is important to note that this is not a command, but personal preference of Paul. If you are currently single let this be an encouragement to use your single years to undistractedly serve Jesus. As a single you are not a second class person, you are actually more free to serve Jesus undistracted!
2. Focusing too much on your pain.
“Those who weep…should not be absorbed by their weeping…”
Life is hard, but focusing on how hard everything is will not get you far. Don’t focus on the negative things in your life so much that it derails you and distracts you from God’s purpose for your life. I realize this isn’t easily done especially for those with chemical depression and other issues, but in general we should not get so wrapped up in focusing on negative things.
3. Focusing too much on celebration.
“Those… who rejoice…should not be absorbed by their… joy.”
As Christians we should be some of the most stoked people! But if our life is a continual party then we might not get much done! There are a lot of things that we have to celebrate and should do it often. But In our joy let us not make the point of our lives just having fun, we should also be about the hard work serving Jesus.
4. Focusing too much on acquiring possessions.
“Those… who buy things should not be absorbed by their… possessions.”
Possessions are not bad unless they possess you. You should not make it the goal of your life to buy a house, car, or whatever your dream is. Your dream should be to see Jesus glorified. It’s ok to have goals and desires but let us not get our priorities out of whack.
Don’t get me wrong, Paul is not against possessions, celebrations, or marriage. He is just warning us that they can distract us from wholeheartedly serving Jesus.
“Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them. For this world as we know it will soon pass away.”
Let us not be so attached to the world that we forget that life is temporary and heaven is forever!
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