We Become Like What We Focus On!

We become like what we focus on

God has been teaching me this truth over and over. It reminds me to return again and again to sharpen my focus on the Lover of my Soul, the One Who dwells within me and calls me to Rest in Him.

Let’s return again to join Jesus as He teaches a crowd in Galilee, as recorded in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 11. (See An Invitation to Rest Today)

Picture yourself in the “ragamuffin” crowd as you are following Jesus today. Maybe you are exhausted…worn out, burdened by the should’s and ought to’s, never feeling like enough is enough – wounded, frightened, lonely, depressed … a mess: physically, relationally, and most of all …spiritually. 

Or maybe you are burdened by your past choices, and you never feel like you are getting it right. Maybe you are desperate because you’ve given up. Everything in your Christian life has become dead and heavy.

Hear the words of Jesus to you personally:

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 

 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 

30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

 The Lord’s invitation in verse 28 literally reads,

 “Here to Me and I will rest you!”  

The word “come” is not even there in the original language (Greek).

Do you get that? Picture Jesus with His beautiful YES face pointing, as it were, to HIMSELF as the Person who is the place of rest, in contrast to the Pharisees with their constant NO faces who were following Him and harassing the people with their “religious mega-list.” 

Also notice the little word translated “to” in this verse. It is like an arrow aimed in a certain direction. It stays focused and doesn’t miss its target. 

And Jesus is saying … HERE … aim at, focus on, come to ME! Not over THERE to them (the religious leaders) and their mega-list of “doing, doing, doing.” And I might add, not to the critical or even well-meaning people around you, not at your circumstances and the drama unfolding all around you.


No! “Here to ME,” Jesus says.

It reminds me of my then 7 y.o. grandson Carter when he was on a swim team at their swim club.  He was only on the team because his mom & dad thought it would help make him a strong swimmer. But all Carter cared about was who was in his audience (mom & dad, g’ma & g’pa, Babci & Poppi, big brother Evan) and what color ribbon he could get. (each place had a different color, including last. And he wanted at least one of each. You have to know Carter is an artist so that’s what he was thinking of, not of winning). So instead of focusing on the finish line and winning, Carter looked from side to side to see if Mom & Dad, G’ma & G’pa, and Babci and Poppi were watching.

But the coach and the crowd (including us) wanted Carter and his team to win. So I had an idea. When I was at Carter’s next meet, knowing he was going to be looking along the sidelines to see if parents and grandparents were watching, I decided to get at the end of the lane where he was supposedly heading. I crouched down low trying to catch his eye and I began calling to him, “Carter … come on, swim, swim!!!!!” And guess what, he won … 1st place! So after that we all got at the end of his lane and beckoned and called out to him, “Swim, Carter, swim! Here, this way!”

And I can’t help but picture Jesus doing the same to us … “Here … to Me! Focus! Move toward Me! Come!” 

And then Jesus goes on to say … “When you come HERE to ME! {literally it says,} “I WILL Rest You!”

Jesus is saying “I am your Focus, not those religious leaders over there and their ‘religious to do list;’ not your own self-effort to be righteous and good … ME!

Not your husband or wife, your children or grandchildren, not your friends, your critics, your bullies.

I am your Rest.”

And His rest is the gift of eternal life in Him when we come to Him for the first time for salvation. And it’s the inner tranquility of soul we find even when we are engaged in the doings of our everyday life. So we can experience this rest every day of our lives on this earth.

He says,


So dear friend, are you focusing on the people around you, the lies of the enemy, or on the circumstances that are harassing your soul?

STOP! Shift the eyes of your heart to the One who loves you more than all others. Trust HIM and become like HIM! Because we truly do become like what or whom we are focusing on!

Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children…. The full picture of our destiny is not yet clear, but we know this much: when Jesus appears, we will be like Him because we will see Him just as He is. All those who focus their hopes on Him and His coming seek to purify themselves just as He is pure.
1 John 3:1-3 VOICE

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another... For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:18: 4:6 ESV