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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Short-term Thinking Will Keep Me from Seeing Clearly

In review of Mark 8:16-17 it says, “His followers discussed the meaning of this, saying, ‘He said this because we have no bread.’ Knowing what they were talking about, Jesus asked them, ‘Why are you talking about not having bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your minds closed?’”

Bottom Line:
Don’t let short-term thinking take over, consider the bigger picture.

What this means to me:
It’s easy for me to get caught up in short-term thinking. I need to consider the bigger picture of what God may be doing in my situation / circumstances.

Today's passage comes from Mark chapter 8 where Jesus warns his disciples about the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod. The disciples still didn't quite get Jesus' and the bigger picture of what he was trying to teach to them, for when they heard this they began to be concerned about not bringing enough bread with them. Jesus said to them, don't you know or understand yet? Are your hearts too hard, can you not see, do you not hear. Don't you remember when I fed thousands with small amounts and what you picked up as left-overs.

What I’m learning is that I’ll miss what God is doing in my life when I remain focused on the here-and-now and not what God wants to do in my life long-term. When I think about comfort rather than character, when I think about my happiness and not my holiness (being set apart for a purpose), when I think about enjoying life now instead of preparing for eternity, I’m caught up in short-term thinking, and this will keep me from seeing life clearly.

This is what happened with the disciples. Jesus was trying to teach them a lesson about pride by using yeast as a metaphor. This passage in Mark 8:16-17 says, “His followers discussed the meaning of this, saying, ‘He said this because we have no bread.’ Knowing what they were talking about, Jesus asked them, ‘Why are you talking about not having bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your minds closed?’” (NCV)

Jesus was trying to teach the disciples a lesson about life, and they thought he was talking about lunch! He was talking about the need for maturity, and they were talking about their next meal. That’s short-term thinking.

Short-term thinking keeps me from seeing how God is working in my life. It’s one of the great weaknesses of American culture. It’s hard to think long-term today because everything in our culture teaches us to do the opposite. We often rob the future to enjoy today. Many set up years and years of unpayable debt to future generations so we can do what we want now.

Whenever I’m thinking short-term, I can’t see what God’s doing in my life. I can’t see his long-range plans for my character when I’m just thinking about my own comfort. I should ask God from time-to-time to give me a glimpse into eternity and to help me see the hope I can have when I see his long-term plan.

One thing I can do to help remind myself more frequently is to preface and reflect on my own version of Matthew 6:9-13 that I use in my prayer times, and how it plays into the long-term and eternal mindset.

I should spend some time today thinking of where I see God working in my life - the longer-term perspective?

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