Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

Pay Attention

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In 1 Pet. 5:8 we are told, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” What does it mean to “be watchful”? Some versions say that we should “be alert”. You could translate this phrase as “pay attention”. The apostle Peter is telling us to pay attention. We could then ask, “Pay attention to what?” Peter mentions the devil, but more specifically I believe he wants us to pay attention to ourselves. He wants us to pay attention to the parts of our lives that are weak and easily vulnerable to temptation. In Ephesians 4:27 Paul writes, “and do not give the devil an opportunity.” In the prior verse he discussed anger. A person who has anger issues has to pay attention so that they do not give the devil an opportunity to bring them down. The question we must ask ourselves is, “What must I pay attention to in my own life?” Here are a few suggestions:

Pay attention to how you spend your time. Satan’s goal is not to get us to do evil. His goal is to stop us from doing good. We do not have to be actively involved in evil deeds for Satan to have won. He wins when we stop paying attention to the time that has been given to us. What do you do with your time? There is nothing wrong with watching football on TV, but there is something wrong if we are neglecting our family by watching too much football on TV. It is wrong if our love for watching football on TV takes us away from worship. What we do with our time matters.

Pay attention to your speech. This is hard to do. James tells us in James 3:8 that “no one can tame the tongue.” Watching our speech goes way beyond whether or not we use foul language. We must pay attention how we speak about others. Gossip can be more deadly than a foul word. We must pay attention to how we represent Jesus and His church. In 1 Pet. 3:15 we are instructed to be ready to give an answer for the hope that is in us. Are we known for our complaining, or are we known for our hope in Jesus? Peter suggests that people should hear hope in the words we speak.

Pay attention to how you treat others. We must treat everyone as a person created in the image of God. No matter how much we dislike a person they deserve our respect. No person is insignificant in the eyes of God. We have a tendency of placing value on the people around us. Some people we judge as more valuable than others. This was going on in the church that James wrote to (James 2:1-4). We must pay attention to how we treat the people around us. We must treat them the way we would like to be treated.

Pay attention to your attitude. Our attitude is often the difference between whether or not we make good or bad choices. If we begin the day angry, then we are leaving the door open for the devil. It is hard to live the Christian life, but it is even harder, if not impossible, to live it with a bad attitude. We must begin each day by remembering to whom we belong to. We belong to Christ! We wear the name Christian. No matter how bad things may seem to be nothing should be able to rob us of our hope, joy, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are victorious in Christ! We need to remember these things at the beginning of each day and press forward to what lies ahead. Do not allow a bad attitude to stand in the way of faithfully following Jesus.

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