How does our focus change us?

The Bible teaches that we are changed by the things we behold (see 2 Corinthians 3:18). This describes a law of the human mind—that we tend to become like what we look at and focus on. Every person with whom we have contact and each event we experience in life has a positive or a negative effect on us.

We can focus on the negative or we can focus on the positive. Scripture certainly presents the negative, because it is part of reality, but usually doesn’t dwell on the negative more than is necessary. Satan and his evil methods are a part of Scripture reality. However, it is possible to so focus our minds on the negative aspects of reality—violence, lying, bloodshed, betrayal, pride, greed, etc.—until we become like that. Perhaps that's why the psalmist in Psalm 101:3 says, "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me."

The Scriptures also reveal gentleness, forgiveness, humility, truthfulness, justice, and mercy. These, too, are part of the reality of life and were especially exhibited in the life of Jesus. As we spend time with the Bible, guided by the Holy Spirit, we will behold both the positive and negative realities of life in their proper balance. The outcome will result in our being changed to become like Jesus. What a change that will be!

The apostle Paul says, “We all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NKJV). We become like the things we focus on and continue to behold. That’s why it is so important to focus on the good, the beautiful, and the positive. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8, NKJV).