Selective Awareness

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Read

1 Samuel 2:22-23, “Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. So he said to them, ‘Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours.’”James 3:13, “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.”

Think

In a Harvard University experiment, participants were shown a short video and asked to count the number of bounces and passes made by a group playing basketball. As they watched and counted intently, a person in a gorilla costume walked through the middle of the group in the video. When the participants were later asked if they had seen the gorilla, most had not. They were so focused on the task that they completely missed the gorilla in the room.Unfortunately, many of us miss the obvious around us every day. The Old Testament priest, Eli, was dialed-in when it came to his priestly duties. He mentored one of the Bible’s greatest prophets, Samuel. But when it came to his own kids, he was checked out. He had no clue that his sons had been violating the temple, abusing women, and stealing. Like Eli, we can become so engrossed in completing tasks and achieving goals that we forget about what matters most — our family.There are no perfect parents. Mistakes are inevitable. But what matters most is to raise children who know and obey God. There is no greater gift that we can give our kids. When we model godly principles and set the spiritual tone and tenor for others in our sphere of influence, we won’t miss the gorilla in the room!

Act

Awareness begins with listening and observing. Do an honest assessment of your listening and observation skills. Do you listen to (a) truly comprehend, or (b) wait for your turn to speak? Do you ask questions because (a) you are truly interested in learning more about that person, or (b) you have an agenda? When it’s quiet, do you (a) take in the moment and notice your surroundings, or (b) look at your phone? Be observant and work on overcoming selective awareness.

Pray

Heavenly Father, Thank You for the grace You’ve shown me as a parent, spouse, coworker, and friend. I’m fully aware that, at times, I’m too task-oriented. Help me focus on You so that I can be an example to others. Your ways are always better and I want them to see that, too. In Jesus’ name, Amen!