Focus on Your Focus

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.  Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

(Proverbs 4:23-27, NLT)

Devotionals-2“I didn’t mean for this to happen!”  Sound familiar?  Most of the time when we get ourselves into bad situations, we typically did not plan for the repercussions of our actions.  Sometimes we even started out with good intentions but ended up in a pit of despair.   

The wisdom found in this Proverb tells us to guard our hearts for our hearts determine the direction of our lives.  

For those of you who like checklists, this bit of wisdom from Proverbs gives us just that. This list reflecting a Clean Heart for Men focus is as follows:

  • Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.  Avoid any sensual or sexual talk with or about any woman.  When you talk sexually with your wife, typically that is not perverse or corrupt.  There are certain conversations that a man should not have with other women.  Those conversations only open the door for poor decisions.  This also means no sexting, or provocative emails as well.  Avoid ALL perverse talk.
  • Fix your eyes on what lies before you. Determine your focus!  Your focus should be to live a life of sexual integrity, to be faithful to your wife, to live a life pleasing to God.
  • Mark out a straight path for your feet.  Make a plan for how you will remain fixed on that goal.  This may include attending Clean Heart, developing a few friendships with men who are mature in the Christian Faith, being involved in a church community, reading your Bible everyday, etc.
  • Stay on the Safe Path.  Just like a highway has signs letting you know you are still on the right road, you must learn the signs that let you know you are on the right path for your determined focus.   How will you know if you are veering off the path of integrity?  You should have some indicators like rumble strips that grab your attention and bring you back on the safe path.
  • Don’t get sidetracked.  This is why we are to guard our hearts and watch our conversations.  We can be so easily distracted and before we realize it our focus is no longer fixed on the right goal and our feet get tripped up and we fall.
  • Keep your feet from following evil.  Finally don’t let your feet take you anywhere in which you could stumble and fall.  Don’t walk to or drive to a place that you know or suspect to have evil opportunities.  If you’re married, do not go to a “singles” event; if you’re driving alone stay away from the “red light” districts; and I would also say don’t let your hands take you to the wrong websites.

Today focus on your focus.  Determine the correct goal and then start walking toward that goal.  Just like a horse with blinders on, keep your gaze from anything other than your goal.  Guard your Heart!  

 

Repentance! Not Sacrifice.

You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering.  The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.

Psalm 51:16-17

DevotionalsHave you ever tried to make up for sexual misbehaviors by volunteering and giving of your time or money to a community or church cause? Though the sacrifice of time or money slightly helped make you feel better, it always seems to lack somehow.

King David wrote the words above after having been outed for trying to cover up his sexual misbehavior by committing adultery with another man’s wife.  He knew that no amount of sacrifice could make up for his wrong behavior.  The only thing that can help with how you may be feeling for your sexual misbehavior is to have a truly repentant heart.

A repentant heart is not the same as feeling remorse for getting caught.  A repentant heart is when your heart truly breaks in recognition of the wrongness in your behavior (whether you were caught or not). It is an acknowledgement that the behavior was and is wrong; AND a decision to not only refuse to repeat the behavior, but to also intentionally live in a God honoring way.

A repentant heart accepts responsibility for the wrong behavior.  Though there may be various circumstances that contributed toward your behavior, it was still your behavior for which you are responsible.  A repentant heart does not try to blame others or the circumstances.  A repentant heart simply acknowledges the wrong and determines to not repeat it.

Today focus on your heart: is your heart full of remorse or repentance? If you are not sure or if you don’t know how to become repentant, ask God to give you a heart of repentance and to live in a way that honors Him.  Demonstrate your repentance by determining in your heart and mind to not repeat the behavior(s) anymore.