Short-term Thinking Keeps You from Seeing Clearly
By Rick Warren
“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?’” (Mark 8:16-17 NCV)
We miss what God is doing in our lives when we remain focused on the here-and-now and not what God wants to do in our lives long-term. When we think about comfort rather than character, when we think about our happiness and not our holiness, when we think about enjoying life now instead of preparing for eternity, we’re caught up in short-term thinking, and it will keep us 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. The Bible says in Mark 8:16-17, “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 us from seeing how God is working in our lives. It’s one of the great weaknesses of American culture. It’s hard to think long-term today because everything in our society teaches you to do the opposite. We rob the future to enjoy today. We’re setting up years and years of unpayable debt to future generations so we can do what we want now.
Whenever you’re thinking short-term, you can’t see what God’s doing in your life. You can’t see his long-range plans for your character when you’re just thinking about your own comfort. Ask God to give you a glimpse into eternity and to help you see the hope we can have when we see his long-term plan.
Talk It Over
- What are the small ways you can keep a long-term, eternal mindset throughout your day?
- What would long-term thinking look like in your family? Your career? Your spiritual walk?
- Where do you see God working in your life?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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