The Gift of Attention

Don’t you hate not receiving someone’s attention when you need it.  This can be really hurtful.  For example, it can be your spouse or a child.  Or, maybe it is a boss who does not seem to respect you enough to give you focused time.  Whatever the case may be, I betcha someone will come to mind.

Conversely, it can be painful when you see one of your children who may be in teen age years and has totally gone off tracks.  This is hurtful and convicting.  “If only I had not spent so much time selfishly on my job focused on my dreams and giving my prodigal child the attention that she or he desperately wanted and needed.”  Or you may find out that your spouse has started a relationship with another man who is paying attention to her.  This may be embittering to you.  “I cannot believe she did this to me.”  Uh, Dude, maybe you did it to yourself.  How much time did you focus on your bride who is your number one priority outside of Jesus?  Who comes to mind that needs the gift of attention from you?

There is a powerful passage in Philippians 2:3-5 that is so applicable to our relationships with others.  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.  What does this passage say?

  • Don’t be so selfish, ambitious and self-focused that you cannot give others your focused attention.  Set time aside for others and your attention exclusively theirs.
  • In humility, value others above yourselves.  When is the last time that you really valued others above your own interest, genuinely, unselfishly giving them your full attention letting them know that they are dear or important to you?
  • When you are with others, are you there 100%?  Or, in the back of your mind, you really are focused on someone or something else.  Man, I was so guilty of this when my children and wife needed me.  I always had “work issues streaming” in the back of my mind.  For that, I am greatly sorry.
  • Have the mindset of Jesus…attentive, compassionate, graceful, merciful, kind and patient.

Who are you not paying attention to today that needs your focused attention?  Prioritize your time and start giving the gift of attention to them that they deserve.  What a blessing you will be and blessings you will receive if you do.

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